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Carsyn Smith Apr 2015
Fear is often reasonless, compulsive - like survival.
No one can quite explain why they fear the dark,
Although we try desperately to blame the parents,
It remains to be simply “because.”

Often times a story accompanies the fear of spiders.
Or the realization that soaring heights are terrifying
Comes from a close call, a misplaced foot on the edge.
But “nothing” explains my fear.

I fear the sound of tires rolling to a stop on asphalt,
The crunch of loose gravel and the sound of a car door.
I find myself locking my doors when I am alone
And seeking something blunt when the moon rises.
But “nothing” explains my fear.

My trembling soul is ripped raw from screaming “no,”
But my lips are soft from the whisper of “okay.”
They always told me words are the most powerful,
And yet his attention was elsewhere when it tumbled out.
But “nothing” explains my fear.

It’s true, he never laid a hand on me without “okay,”
But he’s like nature’s wrath: “no” couldn’t stop him.
So now I grow my nails to claw, not to paint,
I wear sneakers so I can run, not at the gym.
But “nothing” explains my fear.

No tangible evidence except the tears of a heart,
The sweaty palms, the shaking, a dry mouth.
Why speak out if emotion is your only witness?
The jury will not be out long, to them it’s obvious
Because “nothing” explains my fear.

Nothing” haunts dreams meant for escape and bliss,
Nothing” reminds me of slow tires on asphalt,
Nothing” is the echo of hands on my stripped bare body,
Nothing” becomes the reason I fear an empty house…
But “nothing” explains my fear except “him.”
This might not be me, it might be me, either way it's from the point of view of a tormented person. I'm sick of being afraid to post poems about emotions/experiences true to my heart (be them personal or prompted).
first step

when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic

2

when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness

3

he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go

4

he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi

Tucson 2-step

they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go

2

she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista ******* 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep

Tucson 3-step tango

she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a ****** mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings

2

i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away

3

she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico

4

the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths

5

she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself

Tucson square dance

TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report

7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large

witness accounts

Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i want to go home please let me go home”

Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”

Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”

Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”

Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”

Rodeo Drive Tucson

matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves

Quinta Waltz de Tucson

she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her ******* are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet ******

2

her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall

3

she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next **** stage of this **** existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) ****** bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” ****** "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie

4

tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her ******* are definitely changing

Tucson 666

he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it

2

she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her ******* are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck ******* arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my ******* are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole ide
RAJ NANDY Aug 2018
Dear Poet Friends, I conclude this series on The Enigma of Time by mentioning few important features about the concept of Time according to Modern Philosophy and Science. I have used a
simple format, and also tried my best to simplify the concepts for your kind appreciation. Unfortunately, there is no provision on this Poetry Site to show Diagrams to elucidate! If you like this one, kindly repost the same for wider circulation! Thank you, Raj Nandy, New Delhi.
            
       CONCLUDING THE ENIGMA OF TIME IN VERSE:
                      PART THREE – BY RAJ NANDY
              
              TIME ACCORDING TO MODERN PHILOSOPHY

UNREALITY Of TIME : Mc Taggart’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ Series:
Now skipping through the pages I come to Modern Philosophy, with Mc Taggart the British philosopher of the 20th Century.
He had acquired a substantial following with his 1908 paper on the ‘Unreality of Time’ initially.
With his quibbling argument he states, that moments in his ‘A’ Series of Time are either of past tense, present tense, or of future tense.
It is all about human perception, since we experience the past through our memories;
Become aware of the present through our senses, while future is pretty unknowable.
Here time appears to be flowing through us, as nothing remains stable around us!

In his ‘B’ Series of Time Mc Taggart expresses differences in moments of time as either Before or After,
Without using the tenses used in his ‘A’ Series of Time.
All parts in time can be expressed equally as points along a time line, in the absence of past, present, and future tense;
While here we appear to be flying through time in a metaphorical sense!
Thus in the ‘A series’ time appears to be flowing through us, but in ‘B series’ we seem to be flying through time on a timeline created by us!
Therefore, Mc Taggart finds both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Series describing Time to be inadequate and also contradictory;
And he finally concludes that Time is unreal and does not exist in reality!

How Mc Taggart’s Theory Was  Updated :
Modern Philosophers have re-casted Mc Taggart’s theory in term of findings of Modern Physics.
His A-Theory is updated into ‘PRESENTISM’, which holds that only thing that is real is the ‘present moment’.
In ‘Presentism’ time has no past or future, and time has no duration either!
All things come into existence and drop out of existence, and past events no longer exist;
And since the future is undefined or merely potential, it too does not exist!

His B-theory is re-formulated into ‘ETERNALISM’ or the ‘Block Universe’, influenced by the later Theory of Relativity.
‘Eternalism’ holds that past events do exist even if we cannot immediately experience them, and future events also exists in a very real way.
The ‘flow of time’ we experience is just an illusion of consciousness.
Since in reality, time is always everywhere in an eternal sense!

Theory of Growing Block Universe:
It was proposed by the Englishman CD Broad in 1923, as an alternative to ‘Presentism’ where only the present exist;
And also as an alternative to ‘Eternalism’ where past, present, and future together also exist.
In ‘Growing Block Universe’ only the past and the present exist, but not the future.
Since the growing of the block happens in the present, with a very thin slice of space-time continuously coming into existence;  
Where consciousness as well as the flow of time are not active within the past,  
But they can occur only at the boundary of this ‘Growing Block Universe’!
Few scholars this concept did criticise, saying that in this theory the word ‘now’ can no longer be used to define Time!

But according to Einstein, this perception of ‘now’ that appears to move along a timeline, creating the illusion of ‘flow of time’, arises purely as a result of human consciousness;
And the way our brains are wired due to our evolutionary process, enabling us to deal with the world around us in a practical sense.
“People like us, who believe in Physics, know that the duration between the past, present, and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion,’’ said Einstein.

A poem on ‘The Paradox of Time’:
Now to lighten up my Reader’s mind, I present only the first three stanzas from ‘’The Paradox of Time’’, composed by the British poet Austin Dobson:
  “Time goes, you say? Ah no!
   Alas, Time stays, we go;
      Or else, were this not so,
  What need to chain the hours,
  For youth were always ours?

  Ours is the eye’s deceit
  Of men whose flying feet
     Lead through some landscape low;
  We pass, and think we see
  The earth’s fixed surface flee,
     Alas, time stays, we go!

  Once in the days of old
  Your locks were curling gold,
     And mine had shamed the crow.
  Now, in the self-same stage,
  We’ve reached the silver age,
  Time goes, you say? - ah no!
       Alas, time stays, we go!”
            
HOW LIGHT IS CONNECTED WITH THE CONCEPT OF TIME:
Brief Background:
I commence with quotes from the ‘Book of Genesis’ - Chapter One, along with my thoughts about Light and Time,
Before concluding this series with Albert Einstein’s concept of Space-Time.

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. ……And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so.”
                                                      - BOOK Of GENESIS Chapter One.

Since ancient days, Light had acquired a religious and a spiritual significance.
Since Light became associated with goodness, intelligence and ultimate realty;
Light accompanies transcendence into Nirvana of Buddhist religious philosophy.
In due course the Sun began to be worshipped as an important live-giving deity.
As seen in the symbolic form of Egyptian Sun God Ra, and the Greek gods Helios and Hyperion as the Sun god and god of Light respectively.
In Hindu mythology Surya is the Sun god, and Ushas the goddess of Light.
Huitzilopochti, both the Sun god and god of War of the Ancient Aztecs was kept pleased with human sacrifice!

SOME PROPERTIES OF LIGHT:
Plato, during the 5th Century BC said that God was unable to make the World eternal, so gave it Time,  - “as the moving image of eternity.”
While some seven hundred years later St. Augustine in his ‘Confessions’ said,
That when God created the universe out of darkness with light, “the world was also created with Time, and not in time.”
Thus along with light, time also began to flow, while our scientists discovered a connection between the speed of light and time, few centuries ago!
To understand this connection between light and time, we must first understand something about the properties of light.
Light is the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum* which can be perceived by our human eye.         (See Notes Below)
As seen in the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet colors of the Rainbow in the sky,
When water droplets acting like countless prisms break up white sunlight!
Now this electromagnetic spectrum also contains the ultra violet and infra red spectrum which our eyes cannot see.
But this entire electromagnetic spectrum contains Photons, which are discreet packets of zero mass less energy.
In a vacuum light photons travel at 186,000 miles for second, which Einstein declared as the cosmic speed limit, and as an universal constant.
When a photon strikes the eye, it is turned into electrical energy that is transmitted to the brain to form an image which we call sight.

NOTES : Gama-rays, X-rays, Ultraviolet lights, have shorter wave lengths & more energy than Visible light. But Infrared, Microwave, Radio waves, with larger wave lengths are less energetic than the Visible spectrum of light. Sir Isaac Newton using a prism had discovered the spectrum of visible light, & used the word ‘spectrum’ for the first time in his book ‘Optick’ in 1671.

EINSTEIN'S SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY 1905 :
In his Special Theory of Relativity of 1905, he stated that nothing can move faster than speed of light which is 186,000 miles per second.
This speed of light always remains the same, irrespective of its source and frame of reference.
Now the mass of an object would double if it travels at 90% of light’s speed.
But if the speed of light is reached, mass of an object would become infinite!
Since photons, the quantum particles that make up light have a zero mass, they move at the speed of light.
Even inside the World’s Largest Particle Collider (LDC), located near the French-Swiss Border,
Experiments are carried out only around 99.99% of Light’s speed, in accordance with the Laws of Physics.
Einstein had also shown mathematically that on reaching Light’s speed, Time will come to a standstill!
And should this Light’s speed be exceeded, then Time would start to travel backwards, which becomes a mind boggling concept!
Here we enter into the realm of science fiction, which has been described by HG Wells  in his popular novel ‘The Time Machine’.
But to become a time traveler shall always remain our cherished desire and dream!

NOTES: Only mass less particles like the photon can travel at light speed, photons experience no time, they do not age. Objects with mass cannot reach the speed of light since in that case its mass will become infinite. Also, one cannot see the fourth dimension because of Lorenz Contraction, which is also related to stopping of time, for at the speed of light an object will shrink to zero length! Also, particles interact with the Higgs' Field present all around to pick up mass, excepting photons which do not interact with this Higgs' Field.

Now Einstein’s theory of 1905 is called ‘Special’, because it explains how space and time are linked for objects that are moving in a straight line at a greater speed but which is constant.
Time moves relative to the observer, and objects in motion experience ‘Time Dilation’.
Meaning, time moves slowly when it is in motion, as compared to one who is standing still, -  a relative comparison.
This can be further explained by the ‘Twin Paradox’, where a 15 year old travelling in a spaceship at 99.5% speed of light for a period of 5 years,
Returns back to Earth to find himself to be only 20 years old.
But to his surprise he finds, his twin brother on Earth who was left behind, has reached the ripe age of 65 !

Limitations of Special Theory of Relativity:
It was confined to non-accelerating bodies only, and after ten years of deliberation,
Einstein added gravitational force field, space-time curvature, and acceleration, -
To formulate his General Theory of Relativity with satisfaction.

   SPACE-TIME & GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY 1916 :
Isaac Newton during the 17th Century spoke about 'absolute time' and 'absolute space', accordance to the understanding of science of his Classical Age.
Space was the arena where the drama of the universe was played out, and this arena was passive, eternal, and unchanging no doubt.
Time too was absolute with an independent existence, and continued to beat independently like the heart beat of Space!
Newton also gave us the Laws of Motion, and Gravity, with more massive objects exerting more Gravity than a less massive one in reality.
Now one aspect of Special Relativity is that space and time are merged into a four-dimensional space-time entity,
They do not exist as separately as envisaged by Newton and Descartes during the 17th Century.
Some 250 years later Albert Einstein, defined Gravity as a curvature of Space-time.
Einstein also tells us that gravity can bend light, which travels along the curvature of this space-time.
Gravity is flexible, it could stretch like a fabric warping of space-time caused by objects present within it, in fact Gravity is the shape of space-time itself!
The Moon rolls around the curvature created in space-time fabric by the heavier object the Earth,
Just like the massive Sun which creates the depression and curvature around it for the planets of our solar system to orbit round the Sun. *

Einstein’s space-time has been likened to a stretched out vast rubber sheet,
Where heavier the planet, more depression it creates on the fabric of space-time along with its own gravitational field.
Einstein’s Space is not passive like that of Newton, but has a dynamic presence.
Interwoven with Time, Space tells Matter how to move, while Matter tells Space-Time how to curve - in this dynamic presence!
The constant speed of light at 186,000 miles per second, is just a measure of space of something which travels over time;
But both space and time had to adjust themselves to accommodate the constant speed of light!
Thus space, time, and the speed of light are all unified in the General Theory of Relativity,
We owe all this to Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of our Century.
NOTES: **Planets orbiting the Sun do not fall back into the void of space due to the attraction of gravity, and also due to their individual speed of acceleration maintained in orbit as per Kepler's Second Law of Planetary Motion. Mercury has the fastest orbital speed of 48 km per second, Venus at 35 km per sec , and Earth at 30 km per sec. as their orbital speeds. Planets further from the Sun require lesser orbital speed.

UNFINISHED WORK OF EINSTEIN:
During his later years Einstein was secretly working to find a ‘Theory of Everything’,
Which would ultimately replace the erratic tiny micro world of Quantum Mechanics.
His Theory of General Relativity had dealt with the functions of gravity at the greater macro level of the universe only.
So he hoped to extend this theory to find an all embracing Unified Field Theory.
For at the subatomic quantum level, as the Englishman Thomson discovered in 1897,
The electrons inside an atom at times behaved in an alien fashion and were very unstable!
This world of the subatomic particles is a wondrous world where time becomes chaotic;
Where the position of the electrons cannot be predicted with certainty!
Einstein called this unpredictable and unstable behaviour of electrons as "spooky action at a distance"!
In the ‘double-split experiment’ it was seen, that the light photons behaved both like waves and as particles, -
Even though the speed of light remained constant.

EINSTEIN'S NOBLE PRIZE For PHYSICS AWARDED IN 1921:
Now despite Einstein's dissatisfaction with Quantum Mechanics it is rather ironical,
That the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Einstein for his work on the ‘Photoelectric Effect’ at the Quantum level;
Which for the first time had suggested that Light travelled in Waves and also as Particles ( i.e. as photon)!
This observation led to the development of electron microscope, solar panels, night vision devices, at a later date.
Since his Special and General Theory of Relativity considered as ‘The Pillars of Modern Physics’, was still being examined by the Scientific Community;
And they could be proved and accepted only subsequently.

'STRING THEORY' PROPOSED AS THEORY FOR EVERYTHING:
During the 1970s the proponents of ‘String Theory’ had claimed, They found a Theory of Everything, following Einstein’s quest.
They claimed that micro vibrating open and closed looped strings gave rise to some 36 particles at the subatomic level;
But also required 10 dimensions for this 'String Theory' to operate!
In our Standard Model of Physics we have only 18 particles as on date, therefore due to lack of scientific evidence,
There was no Noble Prize for those ‘String Theory’ proponents!
Efforts are on to find a Unified Theory of Everything, and to understand the mysteries of God’s infinite universe, -
We finite humans have just made a beginning!

Now, to reduce the length of my composition I conclude with a short verse by the famous novelist and poet DH Lawrence, -
Who had shocked Victorian England with his explosive ****** novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”,
Which later inspired Hollywood, and a film got made.

               RELATIVITY
“I like relativity and quantum theories
because I don’t understand them,
and they make me feel as if space shifted about like
a swan that can’t settle,
refusing to sit still and be measured;
and as if the atom were an impulsive thing
always changing its mind.”  – DH Lawrence.

Thanks for reading patiently,
‘All Copy Rights Are With The Author Only’, - Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
easter is candy easter is candy

kids buying candy at the local shop

easter is a time for families to gather round

and celebrate the resurrection yeah

easter is great, easter is cool

daddy puts all the easter eggs out in the yard

while us kids went to boring church

yeah the resurrection rocks

we need a parade here in canberra

because easter here is very dull

easter should be the time to party

cause it shows we die and come back to life

easter is cool and totally radical dude

easter brings life in children’s eyes, when they see the chocolate

and it brings love to mummy’s eyes when she found out when you die you come back

and easter explains life, easter explains life, easter explains life in so many ways

and all the street children who haven’t got a home

because right wing governments don’t give a ****

easter should bring these children peace and persuade tony abbott to care for them

it’s hard as a street person, to like our holidays, it’s hard for them at all

because big rich people saying, I WANT MONEY I WANT MONEY

that is not what easter is about,

it’s about the resurrection of jesus christ

and explains the death cycle

when you die, you come back to life again as someone else

to start another life to live

easter is the time of year, to have fun, and munch chocolate

HAPPY EASTER DUDES
Himani Vashishta Jan 2013
Yes, I am an Atheist.
A single word explains it.
I don’t have the popular, visor faith in God.
A little word retorts,
I don’t bend on my knees to pray.
Yes, I question God’s presence, doubt his omnipotence
I choose to think freely, so I am an Atheist!!
A single word may stimulate believers,
They say, I am condemned to hell and deserve damnation.
Egotistical, Arrogant and ‘Witch’ I am called in condemnation.
Still I assert, ‘I am proud to be an Atheist!!’

A Single word explains, I have torn all ties,
No more in mood of listening age-old rhetoric cries.
I have broken all barriers, which divide my own people,
To live my life by the Golden Rule of Humanity & affable.
I dream boundary’s falling, all mankind as one,
Humanity prevailing before any sham religion.
People of different caste and creed dancing-singing together in the bright light of sun.
Not idols rather humanity my religion, so I am proud to be an Atheist!!

A Single word Atheist for me doesn’t mean,
The faith believers preach I totally deny.
But so long as logic is there,
Anything else would be a lie.
I agree no religion asks its followers to become bigot and spread violence and hatred.
I am ready to follow any religion if believers assure no more blood would be shattered.
As far as I feel, they gave me no assurance, so still I am forced to be an Atheist!!

A Single word Brahmin for me explains my caste and religious status,
Even after born in a very religious family events converted me to atheist status.
I opened my eyes in India in year 1984,
The winter season was burning by religious riots, killing Sikhs daily more & more.
The mighty prime minister was assassinated of the county of crore,
Year 1985-86 also witnessed Ahmedabad roar.
Small incidents continued but year 1990 witnessed communal riots more and more.
Burning issue of Ram Janam Bhoomi temple touched this time every door.
Bliss of Childhood with me, I hide in my mother lap and just ignore.
My days filled with play, naps, snacks, beautiful dresses I wore.
Mommy and Daddy smiled at all the adorable things I did; my innocence something I was loved for.
My elder brother was my idol; my best friend remained with me like my shadow every hour.
In my childhood I was the most religious so respected for.
Communal frenzy converted that religious girl to the extent of proud Atheist!!

A little word lovable was apt for me
I started my schooling; mingle with kids of all caste.
My high born parents any how made me understand not to eat and meet with low caste.
That’s when I realized the equation of caste,
I was growing and learning about world very fast.
I found brotherhood my books preached and the scenario existed in society complete contrast.
Minor and some times major violence always outbreak on the name of creed and caste,
In the country which was such a vast.
I noticed my community condemning government policy of reserving for low caste.
This widespread hatred hurt my innocent heart turned me in a proud Atheist!!

A single word love got my all attention as I grow adult,
Yes, I was in love, the most beautiful feeling of this world.
Alas! My first love my true love never fulfilled,
In the midst of caste and creed.
Caste obligations made my life ruined,
God snatched my love and I stopped loving god so I am here a proud Atheist!!

A little word communalism shook the giant country in 2002 again,
The whole Gujarat drenched in blood rain.
All streets burning up to Sabarmati train,
Women *****, Innocent kids crying man dying, made my faith drain.
I wonder when humanity was slain where God remain,
Why faith can’t be questioned again.
Why can’t we see through communal-political equation?
Yes, I use reason and logic, so I am proud to be an Atheist!!

A single word Atheist changed my whole life,
Traditional man refused to make me wife.
My Family Life continuously on strife,
They say Bigots will put me dead by knife.
Believers speak ill for me in disguise,
Hoping quietly for my demise.
Still I dare to follow path of truth, so I am proud to be an Atheist!!

A single word fear I see in all eyes,
Take a deep look, communal worm hollow our society you realize.
Misinformation, falsification bloodshed that Bigots materialize,
God died in my heart since when religion start terrorize.
To save mankind quit all religious difference would be wise,
Otherwise all growth & development would paralyze.
Its High time, only human religion be initialize.
Till Human Religion finalize, I take proud in being an Atheist!!
So Here I am, A Proud Atheist!!

- Himani Vashishta
Matt Jursin Nov 2010
Science says that there's a mathematical equation that explains everything in life.

But I say that not even physics bears an explanation for...the guidelines of attraction.
Our primal reactions are multiplied in...the highlights of passion.

These laws of love that linger like a lanterns lost illumination...
Like the campfire light on a clear night, leaves coals of culmination.

Sweat beads lead to bare threads and bare bodies.
And oh my, how bare bodies lead to imaginations running wild.

Cold winds inspire warm kisses and close skin.
Sincere actions aren't sins.

Bodies wound in union, formed by light and tightly bound.
Together, these twisted vines penetrate the hardest ground...
Together, harmonic souls produce passionate sounds.
Yet, still somehow, love gets lost more than love gets found.

This equation is unending...like numbers off lips that kiss the air.
Body language spoken...Our physical bonds parallel eternity and pi squared.
And you know that every moment that we share is nothing short of...molecular love for the masses...
Now held captive by gravity and magnetism...

See, the last full moon marked retrograde...and if the moon affects the tide of the ocean...and our bodies are roughly 75% water...can we assume that this is the only body powerful enough to keep ours apart?

This gravity...
This pull...
It's pulling me apart...so let me pull you closer, stop pushing me away!
Hold on tight, dont let these planets drift away into a dark rift of decay.

Let your love lap upon this solid stone like a river riffles smooth sandbars into hills of higher ground.

Because baby, without your water on my beach...
I'm nothing but a desert, dry and deserted.
Love, the drug.
Leah Apr 2016
My art teacher used to say.
“Don’t add the black paint until you’re ready for a finished product”
and I never listened.
So I painted with my black paint
a little too soon,
a little too much,
a little too dark,
a little too passionate,
a little too addicted,
to the night,
I always enjoyed the starry sky.
My art teacher used to say
“Keit, I know that you love her, I see it, you two are my favorite couple”
and I never listened.
So I broke her heart at night
as she gripped her chest
while I did,
as she hid her heart
while I bit,
as she held her tongue
while I kissed,
as she ran from me,
while I chased.
I always enjoyed the lustful parts,
but I miss the gentle parts more.
My art teacher used to say.
“black is dominance,
black is overwhelming,
and black is torture,
but black must be controlled”
but I never listened.
Because it never made much sense, I didn’t make much sense of anything except for her. I tried to make sense out of a human being, my human being. A lover, my lover, and you know what the trust it all about?
People don’t make sense.
Love has no sense of direction.
People are chaotic.
Love is chaos.
People are nature’s kiss,
Love, the lips.
People are timeless.
Love is timed.
She was natural.
I was the ******* disaster.
There is a quote out there that goes,
and you’ll know why people are named after storms, why hurricanes are named after girls and you know what?
She wasn’t any of those things,
I was.
I was the earthquake that
shook her buildings down
and they crashed into her heart;
that explains the cracks.
I was the wildfire that
burnt through her magical forest
and the rabbit lost more time;
that explains Alice in wonderland.
I was the calm eye of the storm that
had one sweet angle and 20 more reasons to **** her over;
my insides said I love you,
but my outsides and I hate you
that explains the obsession,
this hopeless romantic poetry *******.
I was a flood,
and her eyes the land,
her eyes the gates,
her eyes the drowned city.
I was the big bang,
and her soul the many universes
within universes, the many stars
followed by comet showers,
the wishing stars that never came true,
the first time the moon met the sun,
love at first sight, forever separated,
the moon crashing into the sun,
night and dat never being one
until dawn came and twilight clouds
rained her name and my name
was shot across the enos of lightyears
and no one hears my scream in space
except for her an she does care,
but these type of blackholes
**** up everything!
They destroy everything,
a still painting dripping with black paint and I wanted to lover her
and all of this time I thought
that she was the black paint,
but it was me, who was the paint.
And I took all of her light,
a black hope in space
kissing the suns of my theory
one last time,
into the darkness they went
and back to the darkness
that they came from.
And my art teacher used to say
“Don’t add the black paint until you’re ready for the finished product.”
I finally listened.
So I let go of her a few days ago.
I told myself that I needed to stop.
Stop talking to her like she was
the sunset we all adored
and how her eyes meant the world,
and it it meant that she’d wink
butterflies into the pit of my stomach,
I’d die as a self-imploding star.
So I stopped myself from being
more black paint, I crossed out
her face with my own fingers
and kissed her one last time.
My art teacher used to say
“because this black is undoing, you cannot paint over it with white the black is so dense, it’s raw, it’s real it stops all hints of color under it over and over it. Because this is art and art is life, art is poetry and art is love, because art it everything and anything”
So I became the nights she had to sleep alone, so I became the nights I cried to sleep, so I became free from her love and I finally understood my art teacher, I finally understood my ex.
“Black paint is the purest color and lightest of color if used correctly with the right amount of care and tender”
Add a little black with white
and you’ll have grey.
Add a little black with red
and you you’ll have my bleeding heart.
and a little black and blue
and you’ll have her bruised lips.
And a little black with yellow
and you’ll have her eye color.
add a little black to my soul,
and you’ll have lust.
Add a little black to my heart,
and you’ll have her.
And I could swear I head my art teacher say.
“You’ll let go of her one day when you’re ready, you’ll add red aver all of your paintings because they’ll remind you of her lips, it’ll be you favorite color, you’ll ad blue over your roses because red has too much passion, it’s on fire and sometimes we have to appreciate the beauty of weirdness, poetry and art is weird, the best kind, you’ll add pale yellow for her skin tome and you’ll add dark, dark brown near lonely tree trunks because it’ll remind you of her eyes that cried every night because you didn’t know how to love, young kids finding slipped pants unhooked bras more satisfying than adding black paint to solidify a relationship that could’ve been, and you’ll add your last drop, the finishing touch, you’ll be the black paint, and she’ll be the finished product.”
And I finally listened.
I finally listened to art teacher.
So I let you of, baby.
The world is your canvas
and I was the black paint.
His lips your new black paint,
and you, his unfinished product.
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2018
.the English pronounce the Cornish town's name as: nookie... the **** is it, a Green Day album name, or a Limp Bizkit song? perhaps i'm too French in my pronunciation... quail... eggs... quay... qua-a... if i were Welsh i'd write you the name like so... newyddquaa... but no... but no, has to be nookie... like buggering a ******* chimp... quail eggs... see how language becomes mutated? nothing is apparently, certainly, stable... always the permutation of a flux... i must have ingested a little of the French concept of: je ne sais quoi when learning English... come one... nouveaucarrière: new quarry... nouveauquai... nookie?! seriously?! Q, Q... Quail eggs... quay... new... quay... maybe the usage of hyphenating words into compounds needs to be revised in the english sprechen... ******* mutation... nookie... ****** ******, + a ******* wookie, walking carpet ride worth the name Chew-a-Buck-back-up! i'd settle for: new-key... some sort of variant of a maritime honing device for locating ships sending distress signals during storms... but... no... but hey... it's authentically Welsh territory... Cornwall is, after all... a pre modern extension of Wales... nookie this: shotgun my *** while is spew rhetoric concerning the health benefits of applying feces instead of ****** cream for the benefits of: no one.

over 20 years spent living on these isles,
and i never made the connection -
Welsh nationalism could only work
if you included Cornwall -
   given that Cornish is very much:
a southern dialect of Çymru -

    i guess... i'm not sure...
    let's put it to the etymological filter...
beginning with primary words:

black
           du   (Cornish)
      du   (Çymru)

    red
       rudh (Cornish)
      coch (Çymru)

    white
          gwydn (Cornish)
gwyn (Çymru)
      
        i guess that's how etymology works,
a shared origins story...
etymology is best
  examined with primary words,
basic nouns / adjectives...

that was the adjective test...
now for the noun test:

sun
          howl (Cornish)
  haul (Çymru)
      
  moon
   loor (Cornish)
    lloer (Çymru)...

    sky
               ebron (Cornish)
   awyr (Çymru) -
   ah...
      now we see what becomes from
etymological deviation...
the sky has to have more
inherent connotations
of a religiosity as the resting place
of sort...

i'm sure that sea, earth, water,
and fire, are very much akin
or mountain...
but i could be wrong...

sea
    mor (Cornish)
  môr (Çymru)
        
earth
    dor (Cornish)
   ddaear (Çymru)

   water
         dowr (Cornish)
      *dŵr
(Çymru)

fire
          tan (Cornish)
    tân (Çymru)

mountain
   menedh (Cornish)
         mynydd (Çymru) -

ah... well then...
that explains the separatist movement
of Cornwall akin
to the Spanish Basque or
the Catalonia...

  white cross on a black flag...
they're ******* Welsh down
in Cornwall!
   i was eating a Welsh pasty
all along!
           oh... i see...
  
  that's why they're separatists
down there...
but there's one word that's
crucial in all of this,
given the emblem is
on the Welsh flag...

  dragon...
**** me!
       there's an etymological source
for the word in English...
and, it comes from?
Cornish!

   draig (Çymru)
  dragon... in ******* Cornish!
**** me...

what's... snake?
   serpont (Cornish)
    neidr (Çymru)...

   there are similarities though...
blatant ones...
which explains the separatist
sentiment of the Cornish people...
they are like
the Hindu corp
of the Urdu speaking Welsh...
high Welsh and low Welsh...

nice to know...
thank god i didn't make the brash
etymological decision to
find the long lost cousins
of a shared source
akin to "abstract" words,
like...

        gallos-power-gallu...

****!

          g­od?
       DUW | WUD

well... god is a universal word,
and it matches...
  duw is god in Cornish,
and in Çymru...
   as it is also Allah on Malta...
funny as the fact that Malta
and it's Knights Hospitaller
cross of St. John of
                                 1567.

20 ******* years on these isles -
and only now i realize
why the Cornish are separatists...
they're Welsh...
   in disguise,
under the guise of a tourist
hot spot that's "nookie":
                       i.e. Newquay...

come to think of it...
    even though i'm living in England...
i interacted more with
the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots...
than i have with the English...
    i'm starting to think that...
if i don't make my way to
Yorkshire...
  or Newcastle...
then i lived in a country...
where the supposed countrymen
of said name... never existed!
ha!

well, in english you'd never really know
that Cornwall was once part of Wales,
given that Wales, isn't in the name
Cornwall: but that's in English...

in Polonaise?
        well... Wales / Walia (that double-u
  or rather, the double-v,
   since... erm: ωμέγα?)
         ergo?
      Cornwall / Kornwalia...
      probably the most beautiful part of
England you can begin to imagine...

aside...
   the current debate over "the pond" in
h'america... tuition fees, student debt...
as much as the h'americans love to gloat
and boast this that and the other...

i'm looking at myself...
    i went to university, studied chemistry,
and history...
   3rd year? 12 hours per week in
the laboratories...
three tiers of chemistry:
a.  physical - i hated physical chemistry,
it's so un-chemical...
   too much physics / mathematical
*******, so obviously i was weak at it...
b. inorganic chemistry...
    something that mingles with
   geology / metallurgy...
   eh... so so... it was o.k. and finally
c. organic chemistry...
   my strongest route, my faustian dream...
and so much like cooking,
so much so that... well: heston blumenthal...
maybe that's why i love cooking
so much, since it reminds me of
organic chemistry...
   anyways, i digress...
      back when i studied...
  and labour was in power with their:
education, education, education mantra?
that's what was still great
                  about britain...
the last stand as it were,
   ****, i still remember tha handing over
of hong kong...
    fee, per year? 1,250 quid...
                      that's it...
student loan, 3,000 quid per year...
   i actually did manage to live
             on the 3,000 with enough money
spare to do weekend away trips to paris,
stockholm, barcelona etc. - and god:
how i loved to travel alone,
bumping into strangers in hostels...
and the best part?
    i don't have to repay my loan until
i earn over 15,000 quid per year...
and since i'm not earning that...
                  the loan will be annuled after
30 years...
   mind you... a really **** year to go
to university and become a british citizen...
since... in scotland... e.u. citizens didn't
pay tuition fees!
      hence the massive surge of the polans
circa 2005...
                                 so: america, **** yeah!

but on a night like this,
esp. in the evening prior to the night itself,
there's that surge in electricity in the air...
you're walking to the supermarket
and the most mediocre magic happens...
sonny rollins' blues in your ears
you pass a street lamp and it gets switched
on by the grid...

                   it's only special because
your're listening to jazz and when you listen
to jazz and promenade...
you might as well be as content as if
walking a yorkshire terrier...
    
   while on the way back, instead of your
usual beer... you buy yourself...
a rowntrees ice lolly...
    and you eat that... smirking, feeling
                                                 like a badass.

p.s. the best thing i received from
the university wasn't even the degree...
a chance to play squash, mountain climbing
(glen coe was a beau)...
         a t-shirt...
since, once i left: a self-teaching discipline.
Matt Feb 2015
Form is emptiness
Emptiness is form

1. Sunyata (Emptiness) is the profound meaning of the Mahayana Teaching.

Two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha was able to realise "emptiness" (s. sunyata). By doing so he freed himself from unsatisfactoriness (s. dukkha). From the standpoint of enlightenment, sunyata is the reality of all worldly existences (s. dharma). It is the realisation of Bodhi — Prajna. From the standpoint of liberation, sunyata is the skilful means that disentangle oneself from defilement and unsatisfactoriness. The realisation of sunyata leads one to no attachment and clinging. It is the skilful means towards enlightenment and also the fruit of enlightenment.

There are two ways for us to understand this concept of sunyata in the Mahayana context. One way is to try to understand the explanation about its true nature. The other way is the realisation through practice. What we are going to discuss now is about its true nature.

Mahayana teachings have always considered that the understanding of sunyata is an attainment which is extremely difficult and extraordinarily profound.

For example, in the Prajna Sutra it says "That which is profound, has sunyata and non-attachment as its significance. No form nor deeds, no rising nor falling, are its implications."

Again in the Dvadasanikaya Sastra (composed by Nagarjuna, translated to Chinese by Kumarajiva A.D. 408) it says: "The greatest wisdom is the so-called sunyata."

This sunyata, no creation, calmness and extinction (s. nirvana) is of a profound significance in the Mahayana teachings. Why do we see it as the most profound teaching? This is because there is no worldly knowledge, be it general studies, science or philosophy, that can lead to the attainment of the state of sunyata. The only path to its realisation is via the supreme wisdom of an impassionate and discriminating mind. It is beyond the common worldly understanding.

2. The Significance of Sunyata and Cessation

The Buddha always used the terms void, no rising and falling, calmness and extinction to explain the profound meaning of sunyata and cessation. The teachings of the Buddha that were described in words are generally common to worldly understandings. If one interprets the teachings superficially from the words and languages used, one will only gain worldly knowledge and not the deeper implication of the teachings. The teachings of the Buddha have their supra-mundane contexts that are beyond the worldly knowledge.

For example, sunyata and the state of nirvana where there is no rising nor falling, are interpreted by most people as a state of non-existence and gloom. They fail to realise that quite the opposite, sunyata is of substantial and positive significance.

The sutras often use the word "great void" to explain the significance of sunyata. In general, we understand the "great void" as something that contains absolutely nothing. However, from a Buddhist perspective, the nature of the "great void" implies something which does not obstruct other things, in which all matters perform their own functions. Materials are form, which by their nature, imply obstruction. The special characteristic of the "great void" is non-obstruction. The "great void" therefore, does not serve as an obstacle to them. Since the "great void" exhibits no obstructive tendencies, it serves as the foundation for matter to function. In other words, if there was no "great void" nor characteristic of non-obstruction, it would be impossible for the material world to exist and function.

The "great void" is not separated from the material world. The latter depends on the former. We can state that the profound significance of sunyata and the nature of sunyata in Buddhism highlights the "great void’s" non-obstructive nature.

Sunyata does not imply the "great void". Instead, it is the foundation of all phenomena (form and mind). It is the true nature of all phenomena, and it is the basic principle of all existence. In other words, if the universe’s existence was not empty nor impermanent, then all resulting phenomena could not have arisen due to the co-existence of various causes and there would be no rising nor falling. The nature of sunyata is of positive significance!

Calmness and extinction are the opposite of rising and falling. They are another way to express that there is no rising and falling. Rising and falling are the common characteristics of worldly existence. All phenomena are always in the cycle of rising and falling. However, most people concentrate on living (rising). They think that the universe and life are the reality of a continuous existence.

Buddhism on the other hand, promotes the value of a continuous cessation (falling). This cessation does not imply that it ceases to exist altogether. Instead, it is just a state in the continuous process of phenomena. In this material world, or what we may call this "state of existence", everything eventually ceases to exist. Cessation is definitely the home of all existences. Since cessation is the calm state of existence and the eventual refuge of all phenomena, it is also the foundation for all activities and functions.

The Amitabha Buddha who was, and is, revered and praised by Buddhists around the world, radiates indefinite light and life from this "state of cessation". This state is a continuous process of calmness. It will be the eventual refuge for us all. If we think carefully about the definitions of calmness and extinction, then we can deduce that they are the true natural end-points of rising and falling. The true nature of the cycle of rising and falling is calmness and extinction. Because of this nature, all chaos and conflicts in the state of rising and falling will eventually cease. This is attainable by the realisation of prajna.

3. Contemplating the Implications of Sunyata and Stillness (Nirvana) by Observing Worldly Phenomena

All existences exhibit void-nature and nirvana-nature. These natures are the reality of all existence. To realise the truth, we have to contemplate and observe our worldly existence. We cannot realise the former without observing the latter. Consider this Heart Sutra extract, "Only when Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva practised the deep course of wisdom of Prajna Paramita did he come to realise that the five skandhas (aggregates, and material and mental objects) were void."

Profound wisdom leads us to the realisation that all existences are of void-nature. The sutras demonstrate that the profound principle can be understood by contemplating and observing the five skandhas. We cannot realise the truth by seeking something beyond the material and mental world. The Buddha, using his perfect wisdom, observed worldly existence from various implications and aspects, and came to understand all existences.

In summary, there are three paths to this observation:

a) We should observe the preceding state and the current state of conditions. i.e., Observation according to the concept of time.

b) We should observe existences according to their interrelationships. i.e., Observation via the concept of space (either two or three-dimensions).

c) We should observe the true nature of all myriad beings. This is like observing the worldly existences of a point, a line and an area. Those with supreme wisdom understand the true nature of all worldly existences by observing vertically the relationships between the preceding and current conditions, and horizontally the interrelationships. Then we can understand the true meaning of void-nature and nirvana-nature.

3.1 By observing the preceding-stage and the current-stage conditions, we can verify the Law of Impermanence of all worldly existences. All existences, be they material or mental, be they the material world, or the physical or mental states of sentient beings, are subject to continuous change.

The world may have certain states of beings where they stay static or are in equilibrium on a temporary basis (for example hibernation). But when we observe them with supreme wisdom, we will find that not only do they keep changing on a yearly basis, but also that this change applies to even every briefest moment. After the current state of conditions have ceased to exist, the newly-formed state materialises. This is the state of rising and falling. The rising and falling of each small moment reveals that all existences are ever-moving and ever-changing.

Conventional scholars have a very good explanation of these ever-changing worldly conditions. However they, including the practitioners of dharma, try to make sense of the reality from the ever-changing worldly existences. That is, they are fooled by the material existences and are not able to understand the deeper truth of all existences.

Only those with the supreme wisdom of the Buddha and Mahabodhisattvas realise and understand that all existences are illusions. They understand that existences are not real from the observation of the flow of changing existences. The numerous illusionary existences may well be diverse and confusing, arising and decaying. But when we look into their true nature, we will find them void and of nirvana-nature.

On the other hand, since all existences are of nirvana-nature, they appear from the perspective of time, to be ever-changing. They never stay the same even for the briefest moment. Impermanence implies existences do not have a permanent entity. This is another implication of the nature of sunyata and stillness.

3.2 From observations of existence via inter-relationships, we can conclude that nothing is independent of the Law of Causation, and that everything is without ego. For example, the Buddha explains that the individual sentient being is composed of physical, physiological and psychological phenomena. The so called ego is a deluded illusion which does not exist in reality. Its existence depends on the combination of both physical and mental factors. It is a union of organic phenomena. Thus we call it the empirical ego. It is a mistake to cling to it as an infatuated ego.

The Indian concept of the supreme spirit implies someone who rules. The spirit is the ruler who is independent of is self-dependent and all causes. In other words, the spirit is the one who is free from all primary and secondary causes (for physical and mental aspects). The spirit is the one who has the soul of his own body and mind. This is the ego or supreme spirit that the theologists cling to. From their view point, the only way to avoid physical and mental decay is to be self-determined and self-sovereign. In this way, the supreme being can stay permanent in the cycle of reincarnation, and return to the absolute reality by liberating himself from life and death.

But from the profound contemplation and wisdom of the Buddha and Mahabodhisattvas, we know there is no such reality. Instead, egolessness (non-self) is the only path to understand the reality of the deluded life. All existences are subject to the Law of Causes and Conditions. These include the smallest particles, the relationship between the particles, the planets, and the relationship between them, up to and including the whole universe! From the smallest particles to the biggest matter, there exists no absolute independent identity.

Egolessness (non-self) implies the void characteristics of all existence. Egolessness (non-self) signifies the non-existence of permanent identity for self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata stresses the voidness characteristic of self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata and egolessness possess similar attributes. As we have discussed before, we can observe the profound significance of sunyata from the perspective of inter-dependent relationships. Considering dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana, all existences are immaterial and of a void-nature. Then we see each existence as independent of each other. But then we cannot find any material that does exist independent of everything else. So egolessness also implies void-nature!

3.3 From the observation of all existences, we can infer the theory of nirvana and the complete cessation of all phenomena. From the viewpoint of phenomena, all existences are so different from each other, that they may contradict each other. They are so chaotic. In reality, their existence is illusionary and arises from conditional causation. They seem to exist on one hand, and yet do not exist on the other. They seem to be united, but yet they are so different to one another. They seem to exist and yet they do cease! Ultimately everything will return to harmony and complete calmness. This is the nature of all existence. It is the final resting place for all. If we can understand this reality and remove our illusions, we can find this state of harmony and complete calmness.

All our contradictions, impediments and confusion will be converted to equanimity. Free from illusion, complete calmness will be the result of attaining nirvana. The Buddha emphasised the significance of this attainment and encouraged the direct and profound contemplation on void-nature. He said, "Since there is no absolute self-nature thus every existence exhibits void-nature. Because it is void, there is no rising nor falling. Since there is no rising nor falling, thus everything was originally in complete calmness. Its self-nature is nirvana."

From the viewpoint of time and space, we can surmise that all existences are impermanent, all existences have no permanent self, and nirvana is the result of the cessation of all existences - the Three Universal Characteristics. But there are not three different truths. Instead, they are the characteristics of the only absolute truth and the ultimate reality. This is the explanation of Dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana. The three characteristics are the one characteristic, and vice versa!

We may cultivate our meditation, contemplating the impersonality of all existences. This will lead us to enlightenment via the path of voidness. Contemplating nirvana and complete calmness leads to enlightenment by the path of immaterial form. Contemplating the impermanence of all existences, leads us to enlightenment by the path of inactivity (no desire).

The Three Universal Characteristics are the other implications of Dharma-nature and nirvana. The paths to enlightenment are also the same cause of absolute reality. All of them return to the Dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana. In short, the teachings of the Buddha start from the observation and contemplation of all worldly phenomena. They are like thousands of streams of water competing with each other, and flowing from the top of the mountains to the bottom. Eventually, all of them return to the ocean of voidness and nirvana.

4. Sunyata and Cessation is the Truth (Nature) of All Existences.

All existences that are recognised by worldly understanding, whether materially, spiritually or intellectually, have always been misunderstood by us. We cling to them as real, physically existing and permanent. Actually, they are only unreal names.

The more precise meaning of the term "unreal name" is "assumption" or "hypothesis". It is an empirical name. It is formed by the combination of various causes and effects. (These include the effects of mental consciousness.) It does not exist by itself. Everything exists relatively. Thus, what is the ultimate truth? If we investigate existence further, we realise that all existences are empty. This is the fundamental characteristic and reality of all existence. It is ultimate and absolute. But we should not think that empty means nothing. It implies the disentanglement from the worldly misunderstanding of the existence of self, identity, and the realisation of the absolute.

In the Sutras and Abhidharma, the worldly understandings are sometimes referred to as all phenomena (Dharma). Sunyata is referred to as "Dharma-nature", and hence there is a distinction between "phenomena" and "Dhamma-nature". However, this is only an expedient explanation that helps us to realise the truth of sunyata through the phenomena of all existences.

We should not think that "existence" and "nature"; or the "phenomena of Dharma" and "Dharma-nature" are something contradictory. They are just concepts needed to understand the implication of sunyata.

We may analyse the exp
August Oct 2012
This is a story I created for my 5 year old niece.

During the old times, things were not as they are now.  Dangerous monsters lurked around every corner doing the ***** deeds of the gods. The innocents had no protection. Only their own wits could keep them living another day.
Such was so for Elephant, he was one of the most intelligent of all the animals in the forest. He was large and grey, wizened with age. He had dark eyes, full of knowing. He had a strong face, with a large round nose. He was the guard of the forest, a scholar, and he could even read, unlike so many of his predecessors. He protected the innocent animals from the evil ones who meant them harm. The gods envied his intellect. They were afraid that it surpassed their own.  They wanted the innocents to be consumed by their minions, the dangerous monsters that lurked around the outside of the protection circle.
They devised a plan to destroy Elephant once and for all. They got their scariest, meanest, largest, most determined beast to do their bidding. The Mushika, some called him “The Mouse”. The Mushika had never been seen before, he had only been a whiff of a rumor found in children’s stories. He was said to be as large as the biggest trees, as mean as all of the god’s combined, and as powerful as the forest itself.
The god’s were able to convince the Mushika to do their bidding, by promising to make him even larger, meaner, and more powerful than he already was. He agreed and began his journey towards the innocents’ home where Elephant stood ready to protect and defend.
Elephant could feel it in the wind that something was coming. He read the leaves on the water to be sure. He knew that danger was almost on them and prepared for battle. He stood quietly, his eyes slowly moving from trunk to trunk. The wind blew slightly, ruffling his long ears. Then, THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. It seemed as if the whole forest quaked. Far away, trees began to fall to the left and to the right. Slowly, it got closer and closer. Until the Elephant could see a looming white beast with red eyes, a pink nose, round ears, a long pink tail, and a massive body.
He roared, “Elephant, I have a bone to pick with you!!” Elephant’s face was calm as he stepped forward. The Mouse lunged stepping on the Elephant’s trunk. Elephant howled in pain, jerking and tossing away from the Mushika’s massive foot. The Mushika persisted, realizing that he had made Elephant utterly defenseless. He opened his giant mouth, full of sharp teeth, about to swallow Elephant whole.
Elephant’s eyes filled with fear, then sharp determination. He mustered all of his strength together and made one final, gigantic tug. His round nose stretched and stretched and stretched, then popped out from underneath the mouse’s foot. He realized he was free, and wasn’t focused on how his nose had become elongated. He shoved with all of his might against the Mushika who was very startled sending him back against the trees. The Mushika had been knocked out.
Elephant called out to the innocents, “Family! We must flee now before this mouse wakes up. We must go where not even the God’s can find us!” All of the innocents came out of their huts.
One of the children, Giraffe, asked, “What happened to your nose?”
Elephant replied, “It has been stretched out, but do not worry. I am fine. We must go now!”
So all of the animals packed their things and went to a hiding place. Elephant realized he could grip things with his new nose. He picked up a giant rock and began to crack the ground away from the rest of the forest. It broke off and floated away, millions of galaxies away. They decided to call this place Earth. So that was how Earth became.
Later on, when the Mushika woke up, the gods were waiting for him. “You have failed your mission, therefore you must be punished,” they said in unison. The mouse quivered as they began chanting strange words. Slowly his size diminished to the size of an apple. He squeaked, no longer able to roar. The god’s laughed, snapping their fingers. The Mushika was suddenly on Earth, where his dreadful enemy was. The Mushika had been stripped of his mighty name and put into unfamiliar territory with no allies. Forever to be called Mouse, never to be able to defend himself again.
Elephant knew that Mouse had been punished for loosing their battle, yet he was still terrified that he would change back into that horrible beast. He feared Mouse the rest of his life, and told all of his family to fear him as well. This story explains why the elephant’s trunk is so long, why mice are so small, and why such a large animal as the elephant is scared of such a small animal as the mouse.
Becca P Jun 2017
if a butterfly can cause a hurricane, it explains you.

explains the effortless way you threw my life around our heads and hearts and heels in your careless breeze

explains the gentle flutter of your eye lashes when you wake me

explains the butterflies in my stomach every second with you and the butterflies in my mind when I think of you

explains the disaster left after you complexly simple love
Francie Lynch Mar 2015
Rich red tea
In porcelain,
Explains how I'm
Enjoying sin.
Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
as the PROPHETS of profits, WE lead and WE’re fair
while WE’re living the life of the poor BILLIONAIRE
– silver yachts, pearly castles, cash (plenty to spare) –
with the world on OUR backs... ah! the burdens WE bear!

being HAVES (not the have-nots) as nature decrees
means WE’re certainly the better (they’re vermin on ******).
if they pray for a lift in their dark fantasies,
WE just kick ’em downstairs, get ’em off of their knees.

yes, WE offer great jobs (much too busy OURSELVES!)
for maintaining the toilets, restacking the shelves,
and WE teach ’em to fear god and play with the elves,
thus dispelling ideas where the dark demon delves.

though they build mighty bridges, twin towers and more,
peddle pizzas and popcorn, sell guns door-to-door,
still they gotta have BOSSES to tell ’em the score
else WE’d never be needed, WE’d thrive nevermore.

when OUR profits are plunging, they do their part too
for they dine on the dole! yes, no hullabaloo!
soon OUR fortunes  redouble, rebound and accrue –
since WE fare well without ’em, WE bid ’em adieu.

’stead of wishing for welfare and standing in queues
or parading with pickets (look! holes in their shoes!),
they’d be better off scabbing to save union dues.
while WE whistle and warble, they’re singing the blues.

whether heroes or hoboes, like spiders and lice
they just crawl all around us in life’s paradise,
but WE’re patient, big hearted and oft sacrifice,
spewing charity, kindness (though each has its price).

if they’re beaten or punctured or suffer assault,
are unhealthy or crippled or walk with a halt,
or ******* or helpless, it’s all their own fault –
just like US they should worship the DOLLAR exalt’!

protesters and loud mouths, you’ll find ’em aplenty
some older, some younger, the worst not yet twenty.
they’re shameless and brazen (unwashed, soiled and scenty)
impugning the prestige of brave COGNOSCENTI.

if they’ve got clashing colors (or shades in between)
or opposing beliefs in the hidden unseen,
well, WE’ll always exploit it, deflecting their spleen,
for with god on each side, would WE dare intervene?

WE maintain many methods to keep ’em in chains –
daily rags and the tube spin OUR circus campaigns:
“to pretend you’ve a voice”, an announcement explains,
“you can vote and decide on which ONE of US reigns”.

OUR policemen protect US, they stay on the ball
(they arrest ’em, no questions per law’s protocol,
and then jam ’em in jail with their backs to the wall) –
if you’ve lucre for lawyers there’s justice for all.

down the ROYAL road of justice WE march all alone
– WE condemn their defiance, set ways to atone –
since WE’re sinless, unsullied, WE cast the first stone
(while WE cloak REGAL fetor with eau de cologne).

politicians, bald bankers, grand idols galore,
attend meetings, fete banquets in which they explore
how to rid US of rodents (the weak and the poor) –
well, just round up the riff-raff, dispatch ’em to war!

ah! OUR wars are, well, just...... just a thing of the past
........... and the present............... and future... WE sure make them last!
if they frown as they gaze (Armageddon!) aghast,
then WE smile back with pleasure, OUR treasures amassed.

useless ranting and raving (in rags, when they’re clad),
leads to losing their teeth (my! their gums are... egad!).
WE’re unselfish, indulgent, WE’d never be mad
if they drowned in the sounds of themselves feeling sad.

as the paupers are princes in midnight’s domain,
they have pipe dreams to lose, certainly nothing to gain
if they’re hoping OUR fortunes will wither and wane –
for “WE’re here by god’s will” as WE often explain.

yes, they wish to be US, with OUR wisdom and grace,
keeping up with ol’ CROESUS, maintaining the pace.  
but perverseness or rancor? they’ll see not a trace –
for WE hold ’em at bay with a fist in the face.

WE’re la CRÈME de la CRÈME, yes! the proud UPPER CRUST,
and OUR clothes are the finest, OUR hair never mussed –
WE imbue ’em with piety, duty and trust
and they’re fed bread and water (if feed ’em WE must).

but they’re thieving, aggrieved, want a piece of OUR PIE
and request WE endure ’em, see EYE to black eye.
since they live in OUR land where OUR strict rules apply,
they must feast on the crumbs that We cast to the sty.

though OUR largesse and bounty WE don’t mean to flaunt,
yet the pittance WE pay ’em they surely can vaunt –
salty peanuts and pretzels (what more could they want?)
thereby keeping their kiddies so healthily gaunt.

yes, there’s room for the rabble (the back of the bus)
’cause WE treat ’em like equals, so what’s all the fuss?
all can rise to the top (yes! it’s always been thus),
to the suites in OUR penthouse (to sweep up and dust).

while OUR CHILDREN have tutors, the finest of schools
(being bred for the forefront, THEY’re nobody’s fools),
their own school of hard knocks teaches: “follow the rules”,
building brawn ’stead of brains and broad backs strong as mules’.

and to keep ’em in line (to ensure WE prevail)
WE now monitor phone calls and read all their mail
(civil rights? what a notion! at best a detail!)
and if worse comes to worst...... well...... guantanamo jail!

WE’ve OUR quandaries and questions and headaches full blown
(like deciding design and decor of OUR throne...
whether diamonds or rubies... to gemstones WE’re prone) .
when WE deign to appease ’em, WE chuck ’em a bone.

now you know all OUR problems, OUR pains and travails
– like preparing foreclosures, evictions  and sales –
but WE’ve no need for worries or gnawed fingernails,
’cause WE’re sailing OUR yachts through tempestuous gales
(with them bailing OUR banks when OUR stock market fails)
sipping daiquiri sours, champagnes, ginger ales.
:-)
Alone in the workhouse. Is where she gave birth.
The starch Parish Surgeon. A Drunken old Nurse.
The cries of a boy child. In her arms did he lie.
Gently kissing his forehead. Before she did die.

Not to be married. Mentioned the Nurse.
Was not to be heard of. Almost a curse.
No Father to speak of. Illegitimate offspring.
His Mother a corpse. With no wedding ring.

Without relations. Brought up with force.
Grown as a captive. Poverties course.
Life in the workhouse. Juvenile offenders.
Selfish providers. Fat cat Pretenders.

"Mrs Mann", Overseer. An hierarchy lie.
Starves and abuses. Would let them all die.
Nine years of age. Each picking a straw.
The boy stumbles forward. Asking for more.

Gruel knocked aside. The fat man, Bumble.
Shocked and alarmed. Off top shelf does stumble.
Dragged by the scruff. Out in the snow.
Sowerberry’s undertakers is where he will go.

Childish look. Innocent way.
To walk at the head of the hearse, they will pay.
Treated unfair. Leading the dead.
Next to a coffin they position his bed.

Insecure Claypole. With nasty remark.
Temper unleashed. Thrown into the dark.
Overwhelming silence inviting a tear.
By morning, escape. Will leave this room clear.

Seventy mile trek. Things look so bleak.
In London he lands. Dejected and weak.
The first friendly face stands counting his loot.
All wide eyed and fresh. In whistle and flute.

"Jack Dawkins the name. But you call me Dodger.
Need somewhere to stay, cause I know this old Codger."
Old Fagin insists to offer him bread.
A warm place to live. A snug place to bed.

Next mornings instruction as Fagin explains.
We live by our wits. Rely on our brains.
Its not thieving we do. We take it by slight.
If they wanted to keep it, why leave it in sight?

Bet and Nancy drop by. For a drink they are glad.
Showing concern for this down trodden lad.
Oliver’s training goes on for days.
Each time he succeeds is allotted with praise.

The day that gave Oliver oh so much tension.
When he met the man he had heard no one mention.
Gruff, rough and evil, A man no one likes.
With Bulls-eye his dog. The man known as Sikes.

The day comes around, when Oliver goes out. With Charley and Dodger, their isn’t much doubt.
The two older boys get the items they sought. Though in all of the turmoil Oliver’s caught.

Brought before Fang, the court Magistrate. Innocent plea onto deaf ears migrate.
Last minute witness brings light forth to shine. On innocent captive in front of said shrine.
The message is out, the crooks are all fraught. Nancy is allotted to spy in the court.
The boy is acquitted. Nothing is told. Nancy relays that they haven’t been sold.
The kindly old victim shows pity on boy.A quiet misdemeanour, a look in his eye.
A child of worth, should not be alone. Mr Brownlow decides to take Oliver home.
For the first time in ever, contentment and love.Poured onto said urchin from those up above.
A picture looks down on this scene from the wall. Similarity so true, most evident for all.
But outside a danger does start to lament. The signs coming out from a previous event.
Sikes and his lady hide out in the shade. Waiting in patience for mistake to be made.
A simple small errand would easily portray. That Oliver Twist is not of bad way.
Mr Grimwig suggests that the boy should be bound. With a parcel of books and the sum of five pound.
Brownlow agrees but his friend will soon gloat. Of the loss of said books and the crisp five pound note.
Surely as hell the time is upon. When onto the streets the child is soon gone.
But Grimwig still boasts that the boy they did trust. Was simply a fraud and just earning a crust.
The kindly old man does have to agree. That Oliver Twist is about on a spree.
Held up and imprisoned by this awful pair. Terrified boy removed to old Fagin’s lair.
Bill Sikes decides that the boy needs a blow. Nancy steps in, she will not stoop so low.
Be satisfied Bill for you have ruined his life. Condemned the poor boy to an history of strife.
Is that not enough to cast onto him. He has been through the mill, now he’s out on a limb.
Brownlow decides to post a reward. For information on the loss of his young ward.
Bumble arrives for the five guinea toll. As he opens his mouth the lies they do roll.

Oliver is taken, carted away.
By Nancy and Bill to the place where they lay.
No notice is taken to the tears he will sob.
For Sikes plans to take the small boy on a job.

Shepperton town is the place they will go.

To silence the boy a gun he will show.
Darkness will produce where his sights are set on.
A quick in and out and with goods they’ll be gone.

Toby Crackit and Sikes are partners in Crime.
Through a small window will make the boy climb.
But plans all go wrong and they do not get a jot.
Although in the event the poor lad will be shot.

Old Bumble is called to the workhouse for wine.
With widowed matron intending to dine.
Things interrupted the matron must go.
To visit old Sally on deathbed below.

The dying old woman does make good a wrong.
As she pours out a death persons song.
She tells Mrs Corney about a gold locket.
That she in the past had decided to pocket.

Inside it gave clues to someone’s true worth.
As owner was dying whilst still giving birth.
To a small sickened child it could of helped save.
Returned him to family as she went to her grave.

Three Cripples a pub where to Fagin will fast. A man named of Monks will throw light on the past.
The story of Oliver’s plight he does pitch. Not knowing the boy has been left in a ditch.
Giles and Brittle two servants regale. Remembering the robbery they did make fail.
An embellished story that has one slight hitch. The bloodied young man will make their story switch.
Doctor and Constable soon to arrive. While injured is taken upstairs to survive.
Upon seeing Oliver, Miss Rose does exclaim. That burglar and boy are not one and the same.
Officer’s Blather and Doth examine the scene. Oliver soon will explain his regime.
Miss Maylie house owner and her niece Miss Rose. Will not let the boy to a prison expose.
Losberne the surgeon and Rose take some time. For ways to conceal the boy from the crime.
Giles and Brittle are forced to retake. Admitting to Officers that they made a mistake.
Oliver’s life takes an healthy uplift. And lady and niece are so glad of this gift.
Tender care and love, make this young lad at home. Never again need to feel so alone.
Losberne takes Oliver to London to see. Where Brownlow and Bedwin could possibly be.
Upon their journey the news they do find. The persons in question have left England behind.
Without any warning poor Miss Rose gets sick. Oliver runs to get Losberne so quick.
On his return as he walks down the lane. He comes on a man who is writhing in pain.
Having retrieved some assistance for man. Returns towards home just as fast as he can.
Wanting to make certain of good news for Rose. Memory of the man in the lane simply goes.
Maylie’s sons Giles and Harry attend. Harry wants Miss Rose as more than a friend.
Whilst Harry is aiming for fortune and fame. Miss Rose has a sensitive mark on her name.
Although the misdeed was no crime of her own. Her parents wrongs will not leave her alone.
Harry is aiming at Prime Minister. So marriage beneath him would cause quite a stir.
With love in his heart the relentless Harry. Tells Miss Rose once more that he does want to Marry.
Although after this time he will not ask again. A tearful lady does have to refrain.
Oliver wakes up in shock from a sleep. Whilst at the window two men they do peep.
Fagin and other man, run off for their shame. Memories rekindled. The man in the lane.
Giles and Harry soon at Oliver’s aid. Searching the grounds but no trace can be made.
Away from the scene things come to an head. Old Bumble and Corney it seems have been wed.
The matron tells husband about what she’s learned. About the dead woman, money could be earned.
Chance meeting with Monks Bumble does make. To meet this caped man his new wife he does take.
For twenty five pounds a deal is made. She passes the goods for which she has been paid.
The locket from Sally, she did take and hold. Inside of locket a ring made of gold.
Inscribed on the inside the man Monks saw there. The name of Agnes and two locks of hair.
Inclined is the man, evidence must go. Weighted and thrown into rivers own flow.
Sikes is in fever and sweat it does shine. As Fagin arrives to deliver some wine.
Fagin replies he does not think it funny. The sickened Sikes still demands from him money.
Fagin takes Nancy back to his hideaway. To get Sikes the money he must indeed pay.
A visitor arrives, two men speak alone. Inquisitive Nancy can hear their drone.
Whatever she heard commits her to see and knock on the front door of Mrs Maylie.
Admitting to Miss Rose so that she should know. Who kidnapped the boy from Mr Brownlow.
She explains what it is she heard from the other. That Monks is indeed poor Oliver’s brother.
Oliver later is out for a treat. He spots Mr Brownlow out on the street.
The young man relates what he saw unto friends. Mr Giles and Miss Rose to Brownlow attend.
Oliver is allowed a visit to see. Brownlow and Bedwin who don’t disagree.
The story from Nancy is passed onto both. To keep it from Oliver they all swear an oath.
The idea to see Nancy would be a vantage. So visit they must, upon London Bridge.
Plans are drawn up things are in sight. The deadline is Sunday. The time is midnight.
Sowerberrie Robbed, Claypole the crook. To London a journey. The police he should duck.
A meeting with Fagin does help to define. The shaking of hands as this union align.
With Dodger locked up the need for a new. Association, by joining the crew.
First on the agenda a visit to court. To view on the sentence that Dodger has bought.
The sentence is in, result deportation. For Dodger a blow, Fagin some irritation.
Fagin tells Noah he will give him one pound. To latch on to Nancy and follow her around.
The midnight meeting from shadows perceived. Of talk about Monks who is not too relieved.
Spying for gentry Nancy will announce. When Monks will attend at that old ale house.
Idea as such, he will be forced to declare. The truth about all he has worked for and where.
Sikes is informed of Nancy’s concern. Anger and hatred through him will burn.
When he returns home, throws the girl onto bed. Lifts up his stick and beats Nancy dead.
Sikes will flee London the following day but tries to drown Bulls-eye who could give him away.
Brownlow captures Monks, taking him to his home. After constant question his cover is blown.
The secret of Monks they were soon to discover. Real name Edward Leeford they then did uncover.
His father he told was forced into marriage. With woman with whom he had tried to disparage.
This loveless union for the father was coarse. So he left but was not to secure a divorce.
Agnes Fleming, this lady became his only affection. The two of them seemingly lost their direction.
As a result of this loving affair. A woman alone with unborn child to care.
Fagin and Noah by police are detained. Though Sikes and his freedom still they remained.
Held up alone at his iniquitous den. Out of the way of all other men.
Bates he does follow, Bulls-eyehe will track. Calling on others to help him attack.
Murderer Sikes is forced now to flee. For the ****** he did to his poor Nancy.
He uses the rooftop with avoiding intent. Hoping that crowds will soon give up, relent.
Using a rope to air his escape. About his person the rope he will drape.
High up on rooftop Sikes does his trek. With rope still entwined in a loop around his neck.
A slip as he ran caused a rooftile to loose. Effecting in Sikes with his head in this noose.
Onlookers can see this of this man that they dread. Asphyxiated. Hanging stone dead.
They say what it is that made this man die. Was caused by seeing into Nancy’s eye.
That her ghost came along and did have its way. Making Bill Sikes forever pay.
Even though this story we cannot prove. For many a persons minds this does indeed sooth.
A Letter its told was found by another. Proving to us to be Edwards mother.
Destroying both a Will and letter. Ensuring that Edwards life will be better.
Agnes’s father found out when she left. Became broken heart and soon to bereft.
His shame and honour were both denied. Accelerated greatly the time when he died.
Poor little sister is taken we see. By good Samaritan lady named Mrs Maylie.
Bringing this child up as her own. Miss Rose as she is now, to us be it known.
Bumble and his wife confess. To their dealings in this mess.
Concealing to Oliver’s history. Never again, office be held by he.
Harry’s makes change of his life’s employ. Prime Ministers aim he will deny.
And thus open another direction. To marry her of his hearts affection.
Fagin is sentenced for all of his crimes. The Gallows imposed for his evil times.
Oliver will feel a need to beset. Fagin for proof of his legitimate
Noah is pardoned, excluded his time. For his testimonie about Fagin’s crime.
Monks travels by ship to the new world. It isn't to long until his life is unfurled.
His wicked ways again he will try. Imprisoned, eventually this is where he will die.
Oliver becomes the adopted son. Brownlow a father does also become.
Miss Rose as aunt that will often frequent. To see Olivers life gaining so much betterment,
Life now to all will be a good friend.
This story is formally now at an end.
A poetic translation of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens..
May 28th 2011
Dan O'Neil Mar 2015
This is Not Glandular - Dan O’neil


I don’t use excuses. I never liked them.
The people who say “they were born this way”.
Husky….Stocky…. Big-*****…
Let me start by putting your minds at ease.
This is not glandular. So, i am not a fat man..  
I am a FAAATT man. And i am **** proud of it!
I am proud of this body.
I chose to be this size.
Chose a body as BOOMING as my voice ,
with the softness to counter my sharp tongued words.
Chose puppy cheeks,
so my grandma will always have something to pinch.
Chose hands that look like hot-dogs glued to a baseball,
because thats really funny to picture.
I chose to be a mountain of a man,
just incase any ladies were feeling adventurous
and wanted to hike to the summit.
Trust me, this is not glandular.

I chose this body because of the women,
because the ladies love the funny fat guy!
Because any girl who won't take me if i'm fat ,
is not anyone i'd want if i was thin.
Because I am 230 pounds of cuddling,
bearing down on you like a force of nature,
and there is NOO escape from my snuggling.
Because i am a teddy bear,
whose heart is on “E” and desperately awaits the next woman to refuel him

I chose this body because of the FOOD.
Because there are 6 meals in a day.
Breakfast,brunch,lunch,siesta, dinner ,and the taco bell drive thru.
And theyre ALL the most important meal of the day.
Because just like lonely , ***** ,and angry. We all get hungry.
Because my mom told me that some people show love by cooking.
So i got cookies instead of hugs, meatloaf instead of kisses.
And fried spaghetti sandwiches, replaced bedtime stories…
And i cleaned my plate every time because it was all i can do to say.
I love you too.
I mean i never knew my dad, and Rick.
Rick was never the hands-on step father.
Unless you consider the occasional slap on side the head.
So food became my surrogate fathers. Kernel Sanders and Chef Boyardee
Became my models for manhood.
Which explains my obsession for weird hats..

I chose this body because of 7th grade PE
Because if just one fat guy is confident when changing clothes
it makes others more confident, because dodge-ball is a ****** sport
so who cares if i get knocked out first? Running the mile is TORTURE!
But so are the jokes.. If the fat guy can't finish.

I chose this body,because other people not liking my body is not a good enough reason for me to change it.
So to the bullies, the lunch ladies , to the women who NEVER gave me a chance.
And the football coaches who berated me with insults. To the jerks and the jocks
And the doctor who joked when i stepped on his scale. To Rick and Kernel,
and ANYONE who ever used F A T as an insult. You can do what i did for the last 2 decades.
of my life doing. YOU CAN EAT IT.

Because i love pies,  i love hamburgers ,french fries ,and lobster, and deep fried twinkies
I love me some rice-a-roni and salisbury steak, microwaved burritos ,
cooler ranch doritos and ice-cream , the kind that you push that had Fred Flintstone on it.
I love cake. I love everything about who i am and the life i get to live
No. This ..is .. not ..glandular. Its just fat .
And for the first time in my life. Im proud of that.
Liz Delgado Mar 2014
Your atoms were once a part of the stars and maybe that explains your brown eyes and the shine inside them. The atoms that sculpt your body used to sculpt the ocean and maybe that explains the depths, hollows and dark corners of your mind I've yet gotten to discover. Maybe your rough edges are explained by the solely fact that the atoms forming who I'm deeply in love with were once rocks with gems inside them. It has been a privilege to fall for a beautiful, bright and amazing combination of Earth that is you.
Cory Ellis Jun 2013
Hey guys. This isn't truly a poem but a paper I wrote for English class. I wanted to share this view with people and this is the only vehicle I knew to use. So here it is. I hope you enjoy it.
-------------------------------------------------------------­--------------------------------------------------


The amplifiers were turned up to ten. The young and fresh crowd looked at us with anticipation.

What were they waiting for? As the music began I noticed the subtle movements and growing tension in

the crowd. Men shook their heads and we shook ours in a violent duet between the crowd and

performer. Women and men flailed their limbs as they awaited the ******. We knew when it was

coming; they did not. When we decided to let it all go I witnessed something crazy! There was a brief

pause in the music and when it began again we kicked it into overdrive. We shook our heads with a

more frantic pace. We jumped about like madmen. The crowd erupted; it became its own entity. You

could feel the heat and power of this new creature. We were locked in a violent psychic-sphere of

crazed young teens and when the ****** was over there seemed to be a sense of relief and happiness

in the crowd. Had my after school hobby become a healing agent, even if only temporary, in society?

This papers purpose is an attempt at piecing together the phenomena of catharsis by merging

philosophy, psychology, history and spirituality.



First, to understand the psychology of catharsis we must think back to the roots of this behavior. Since

human life has existed we’ve formed crowds for various reasons. The first reason held the sole purpose

of protection. Tribes of people, men as hunters and women as gatherers, teamed up for the benefit of

human survival. Erich Fromm says that “the meaning of life is not to be found in its fullest unfolding but

in social service and social duties; that the development, freedom, and happiness of the individual is

subordinate or even irrelevant in comparison to the welfare of the state.”(Fromm, 1947, page 51) This

states that a crowd is actually very necessary to the function of human life. The second reason crowds

gathered was in form of revel, shamanistic healing and worship of deities (Ehrenreich, 30). Men and

woman would often enter trances, speak in tongues and become involved in a collective ecstasy while in

worship of their God. In later years, politics, entertainment and rebellion or protest was a main factor in

the gathering of people (Ehrenreich, 102). People gathered at Festivals that were in the midst of being

suppressed and would dance in mockery of their Kings or leaders.



What exactly is catharsis? Catharsis is a purging of emotional tension brought out in a crowd through

the viewing of a tragedy or tragic play. In the article “The Power of Catharsis” Kearny says the following

More specifically he (Aristotle) defined

the function of catharsis as 'purgation of pity and fear'. This comes

about, he explains, whenever the dramatic imitation of certain actions

arouses pity and fear in order to provide an outlet for pity and fear.

The recounting of experience through the formal medium of plot,

fiction or spectacle permits us to repeat the past forward so to speak.

And this very act of creative repetition allows for a certain kind of

pleasure or release. In the play of narrative re-creation we are invited

to revisit our lives — through the actions and personas of others — so

as to live them otherwise. We discover a way to give a future to

the past. (Kearny 1)

I figure that, even though he states that it is a purgation of pity and fear, it could also be involved with

many other suppressed emotions. Take my introduction for example. These kids were not releasing

pity and fear, they were releasing their angst! They were releasing their desire for competition.

They were making up for the violent feelings of agression they felt in their body that had been

suppressed by society for so long! They were revolting! Could catharsis also be used to purge other

emotions as well such as ****** suppression or communicative issues?





How would one come about actually attempting this catharsis that I speak of? We need to first look at

some ways in which people have controlled crowds in the past and realize that crowds form by

themselves but often look for leadership due to what Nietzche called that “herd mentality.”

In the article “Seducing the Crowd” by Urs Staheli it mentions that repetition is a key factor in beginning

to control the crowd. (Staheli, 69) This means that through repetition you can get the crowd to side with

your beliefs. The crowd could begin to think about what your suggesting and potentially be swayed by

the other people that are now following your ideas. It could also be repetition of body movements as

well. What better vehicle is there to sway a crowd than music? It’s repetitive in instrumental and lyrical

form!



Another way to “******” a crowd is to act like a madman! Specifically how I stumbled upon this in

the first phenomena place.

The leader himself is possessed and hypnotized by the ideas

and visions he holds, obsessed to such an extent that he cannot rationally exercise

control over the crowd. Instead, he devotes himself to fascinating the

crowd by more ecstatic means.8 He often resembles a madman but fascinates

by the mere power of his determination. What distinguishes the leader from

the rest of the crowd is his will alone, not any particular intellectual capacity

or a superior morality. (Staheli, 68)

The theory is that through mythological story telling or acting tragically and in a spectacle, we can

actually release negative emotions and potentially even heal neuroses or psychic ailments. Later in the

article he goes on to say that a shaman was actually documented to have cured a woman with a blocked

birth canal and in labor by telling her a story about a warrior trying to exit a cave that had monsters on

the outside trying to get in.

The function of a shaman is to heal his tribe. He uses drugs or plants to change his state of mind and

then by going over to the other side of reality he invokes spirits that help to heal.

In the séance, the shaman led. A sensuous panic, deliberately evoked through drugs, chants,

dancing, hurls the shaman into trance. Changed voice; convulsive movement. He acts like a

madman. These professional hysterics, chosen precisely for their psychotic leaning, were once

esteemed. They mediated between man and spirit world. Their mental travels formed the crux

of the religious life of the tribe. (Morrison 1967 pg. 71)

This shows an ecstatic crowd dancing and chanting while one man acts out a tragic spectacle. Through

this spectacle the shaman acts like a madman. This causes wild emotions within the crowd and allows it

to release their built up and suppressed emotions. Also, the dance and chants bring them to a feeling of

unity and oneness!



One may not believe in the spiritual shaman because of their own beliefs about God and religion. Some

may not believe in the other world that parallels our own.  It is a skeptical concept without a doubt and

there are probably many people who disagree with the legitimacy of the shaman. Is there a way that we

could think of the phenomena in a psychological sense rather than strictly spiritual? The answer lies in

Carl Jung’s theory of the unconscious mind and dream therapy as well as in Nietzche’s philosophy on art

and aesthetics.  



Carl Jung believed that there is a conscious mind and an unconscious mind. The conscious mind is the

everyday mind that occurs in waking life. It is rational and helps us survive. The unconscious mind can

be found in dreams or whenever you experience a déjà vu (Jung 1964 21).  He also believed that through

the study of dreams you could heal certain aspects of your psyche that have been altered by neuroses.

Symbols and archetypes make up dreams and the unconscious, and often you will find that archetypes

appear in the form  of people. Jung believes that through living in society that men and women have lost

touch with their feminine or masculine characteristics depending on their gender. Dreams can help us

get back into union with these lost roles through connecting us with our anima(female) or animus

(male) through symbols in our dreams or unconscious minds. Jung wrote that when society was

formed people took on roles and caused a dissociation in their psyche and caused a duality rather

than a unity when they suppressed one side of their mind.  He mentioned that at all times the

unconscious mind is connecting us on a psychic level.



How does this tie into shamans and catharsis? It seems like something completely different all together

right? My theory is that the shaman or crowd leader brings forth a forgotten union of the masculine and

feminine forces in the universe. Nietzche believed that there are two polar forces that are natural in this

world and in art. These forces are given the names of deities in his book “The Birth of Tragedy.”

The first is the Apollonian force that is masculine. This force in art governs form and dreams. The

Apollonian artist directly takes ideas from his dreams and brings them to life whether it is in form

sculpture or poetry. Apollo appears through an oracle often in tragedy or in visions of the waking life.

The second force is the Dionysian which is feminine. This force governs intoxication, revel and ecstasy.

Dionysian artists are improvisers and dancers and are usually tragic figures. Nietzche believed there are

three different types of artists: Apollonian, Dionysian and the fusion of both (Nietzche 1872 14). This

latter artist is what I believe the shaman is.



Through connecting these polarizing forces he fixes the psychic neuroses in his own mind. He becomes

a unified artist, or a magician of duality. The shaman, as stated above, takes drugs to intoxicate himself.

Often the drug of choice is wine or alcohol though it could be hallucinogenic drugs as well. This tied with

repetitive revel is the Dionysian side of the spectrum and also helps draw the crowd’s attention through

spectacle and repetition. Everybody is ecstatic and experiencing the collective vibrations of the crowd.

Through his intoxication he is able to go into the unconscious mind and produce dream symbols in

reality! The crowd follows the leader into this unconscious mind and brings back forgotten wisdom of

mythology and archetypes. This is the Apollonian side of the spectrum because it deals with the

unconscious mind and dream images. It also could be this “other world” that traditional shamans speak

of. Now the psychic duality is merged and a tie is formed between the masculine and feminine forces of

nature! People feel at one with themselves and the crowd and the societal suppression is vanished

briefly. All the neuroses caused by the suppression fades away in the ecstatic revel. This is the appeal of

the rock concert. Notice how many leading figures of rock bands have androgynous features and

shamanistic nature. This is because they have fixed the psychic neuroses in their own mind and become

at peace with the masculine and feminine duality of their psyche.



Stumbling upon this phenomena in my rebellious youth was very eye opening. Ever since I have been  

very excited about this theory and I’ve been trying to piece it together. It seems to be coming along

further and further in my study of this. What exactly this ancient wisdom is; I don’t entirely know. I

do know that I have witnessed this in reality and the subject is interesting and fascinating. My theory

still has a lot of work before it is completed but I think that within this article I’ve given a decent

amount of history about the topic as well as my own thoughts. Whether this phenomena is true or

not, we can leave that up to the psychologists and philosophers to decide, though I think many may

agree. Either way, catharsis surely does exist and it is a fun way of entertainment as well as a

therapeutic option for many stressed out individuals out there
Vivian Jun 2015
I go to school
I sit in class
I love to write
But I hate math

Behind my desk
I try to add
I draw the shapes
I make the graph

Learn formulas
I get confused
It's much too hard
Too many rules

Daddy can teach
He goes to schools
He shows them math
He knows the rules

I leave the bus
Dad gets the door
"How was your day?"
"I learned some more!"

Dad says, "Good Job,"
And turns to leave
I yell out, "Wait!
Can you help me?"

Dad hesitates
He sits me down
I bring out math
He starts to frown

"How is this hard?
Here's what you do!"
I smile as he
Explains the rules.

"I get it now!
Let's do this one!"
"I have to go
But you have fun."

My daddy leaves
I wear his frown
I try the math
It's harder now

"Daddy come back!"
I start to yelp
"I'm sure at school
That they can help."

I go to school
I sit in class
I love to write
But I hate math

Behind my desk
I just can't see
Can Mrs. teach?
She's not Daddy

I raise my hand
I wait a while
"Can you help me?"
Mrs. just smiles

"It's not all wrong.
Here's what you did.
Let's try it slow
And get it fixed."

That's not so hard
That's kind of cool
I laugh as she
Explains the rules

"Mrs. please stay
For just one more."
"I'm glad to help!
It's not a chore."

Before class ends
We take a test
I'm scared but I
Wish for the best

I turn it in
I start to leave
"I'm proud of you!"
Mrs. tells me

I check my grade
Right by the door
An "A" in math?
What in the world?

I leave the bus
Dad gets the door
"How was your day?"
"I learned some more!"

Dad says, "Good Job,"
But doesn't stay
I yell out, "Wait!
I got an A!"

Dad smiles. "In math?
I'm proud of you!
Maybe one day
You'll teach math too!"

I'm really glad
I learned the rules
But math should still
Be banned from schools

Thank you Mrs.
For teaching me
Since my Daddy
Had to go.
SELFISH EDUCATION MINUS POETICAL WISDOM
MAKES THE WORLD LAME

Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)

Nothing is wrong with selfish education;
Career is an important part of a good life
Much of human life over the years
Is devoted to career acquisition
In oblivion of poetical wisdom
Philosophy does not make it any easier,ok
For apothecaries to remove a prostate gland;
Apothecarical education is long, arduous and dear in cost
Never temper it with apparent irrelevance
But poetical wisdom soothes the tools
Helps apothecaries to volite in dilemma
Poetical wisdom is essential for apothecary’s work
Without it; apothecary tells a mother-to-be
Your baby will be a dwarf dwarfishly
The apothecary explains the mother’s options yet in fault
Since it takes more than just knowledge of genetics
Since it requires an understanding of suffering,
Of disappointment and puerperal attachment
Apothecary tell a daughter but in sham; that
Your mother’s life support needs to be removed
It takes more than just knowledge of physiology
It too requires an understanding of emotional loss
A casualty room apothecary goofs to avoid despair
When faced with a baby battered nearly to death
By its own zinjathropus father
Such horror requires a faith in humanity
That cannot be learned in the selfish education
It’s not just apothecaries absolute
To benefit from a broader learning
It is but entire humanity
Studying drama would no help financiers
Devise capricious financial parasites
That doomed the world into financial mire
But, if they were familiar with Faust,
They may have thought twice about
The consequences of their vice,
Being able to sing from Shelley’s poems
Will not help politicians get elected
Carousing Ozymandias might make them more humble
And thoughtful about their accomplishments
Rupert Murdoch might not now be shaking his head
And whining; how I wish I new
Instead, he were to echo Shakespeare’s words
About how easy it is to be; done to death by a slanderous tongue,
I sing this poem in a crouch in the twilight
Around the world as my audience
Behold poetic eyebrows of my comrades,

A generation of humanity familiar poetical kingdoms
Of history, philosophy and literature is a wonderful vision
Doubts not that reading Goethe
And Shelley and Shakespeare guarantees wisdom
You are correct, kudos to you,

Reading, by itself, won’t make anyone a sage
Experience is a pertinent Florence
As Odysseus learns on his journey back to Ithaca,
Important lessons can only be learned the hard way
Through bitter experience, perhaps has a change,

Youth start out with ***, drugs, rock and roll
With experience they eventually emotions decadence
In calm appreciation that; nothing to excess,

Tragic exceptions like poor Amy Wine house;
Only serve to prove the rule, there is a problem,

Ergo, Experience alone cannot guarantee wisdom
Any more than reading books can
The lessons of life are only available
To those who are ready to learn them
If wisdom is the goal, then humanity must walk 10,000 miles,
To read 10,000 books
Said 17th century Chinese philosopher, GU Yanwu
Becoming wise requires more than set of adventures
But a cultured mind that is open and liberal
Readily able to absorb the lessons that experience teaches
Pasteur famously said that; Chance favours the prepared mind
Our job as learning humanity is to take his words seriously
Prepare mankind to learn from experience,

Humanity is to go beyond selfish education
To learn colours of hope in the poetical wisdom;
Life, death, tragedy, love, beauty, courage, loyalty
All of these are omitted from selfish education
yet, when it comes time to sum up our lives,
They are the only things that ever go places,

Catholic priesthood ever admonishes the flocks;
Thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return
A salutary reminder of what we all have in waiting f
Like the Preacher in the Ecclesiastes;
We spend our years trying to find some meaning in our lives
It is easy to fall into the bottomless pit
Life is tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing
But before humanity reaches Macbeth’s conclusion,
We must provide with the poetical glory
Musing fortunately as all humanities is anxious
There is a thirsty for poetical wisdom
Which parochial selfish education cannot quench,

There ought to be a list of great poetical works
From east, west, north and south of the world
Globalectically Nursing poetic urge of the earth
With which every piece of humanity should suckle
In wisdom that Books have the power to convey wisdom,

From these poetical sources that humanity learn about love
And loss, about memory and desire,
About loyalty and duty,
About our world and love-bound universe
And about what it means to be a human being
Mila Berlioz Sep 2015
It might be love
It might be fate
It could be so many things
As a quote says "My atoms have always loved your atoms"
I think that explains a lot.

Basically, I love you
And I love how you get mad at me
It makes me love you even more
I find it cute
I find youcute
I find cute when you say my name
I find cute when you call me baby

I love you, and I love your flaws
I love you
1970 Odysseus visits cousin Patsy in New York City she introduces him to her best friend Lauren’s older less attractive more reclusive sister Tanya Mulhaney extremely wealthy family father founded corporation manufactures pinball machines which years later develop to video games then casino empire he favors and spoils Tanya but dies suddenly her envious sisters and mother gang up on Tanya is pale skinny flat-chested copious brown bush Odysseus sits in bathtub with Tanya and he probes in a way they hits it off maybe no boy has ever touched her in that way her complexion is so fragile slightest fluster prompts pink blotches on her cheeks neck chest back he admires her book smarts he’s attracted to her refined strangeness he thinks her bush and flat-chest are **** she laughs shyly offers to take him around the world he accepts Odysseus tells his parents Mom goes crazy yells into telephone what are you a ******? you father and i work like fools to send you to the best schools so you can make something of yourself you’re going to throw everything away to be a ***? i tell you we’ll disown you you won’t have a home to come back to do you hear me? we’ll disown you! she sobs how can you just walk out after all we have done for you? you ******* kid! Odysseus takes leave of absence from art school he and Tanya take Iberia jet 12 hour flight with stopover in Iceland to Belgium Tanya sinks into one of her moods swallows several pills to help her rest sitting on other side of Odysseus is curly haired skinny talkative musician claims he has jammed with Miles Davis and other jazz greats Odysseus says yeah right and i’ve shown with Johns and Twombly where exactly are you heading in Europe? musician answers he is a scientologist on his way to visit L. Ron Hubbard in England Odysseus does not know what Dianetics are and wants explanation he asks many questions and musician talks for hours they enjoy each other’s rapport as jet descends in Brussels they exchange home addresses in the States 9 months later when Odysseus returns to America a friend notices scribbled address while skimming through his travel journals Odys! how did you get Chick Corea’s address? do you know him? do you realize how brilliant he is? he’s a keyboard virtuoso! Odysseus questions Chick Corea? who’s Chick Corea? he looks at journal page then says oh that guy i sat next to him on the jet to Europe so he really is a famous musician huh? wow!

in October 1970 Brussels is damp chilly Tanya wears hip-hugger jeans black turtle-neck top North Face shell she huddles her arms around her chest smokes cigarettes looks through hotel room window out into gray overcast sky speaks in defeatist voice i didn’t bring clothes for this weather she picks at her plate in hotel restaurant glumly vacillates later in bed after refusing *** decides they leave tomorrow fly to Canary Islands for several weeks to get tan before traveling through Morocco during winter months Canary Islands are laden with Swedish tourists including bikini clad young girls many not wearing tops Odysseus is thinking about how to swing some of that Swedish free love once Tanya gets drunk succumbs to Odysseus’s ****** overtures it is good  one day while returning to hotel from beach 2 Spanish police stop and question Tanya and Odysseus police order to see their passports then command them into squad car police bark in Spanish rifle through their daypacks point a finger Odysseus can smell alcohol on their breaths Tanya and Odysseus are terrified police drive off main road to remote location abandoned ruins no one is around police order them to step out police drive off laughing Tanya’s complexion is crimson she sobs they could have murdered us no one would know who we are or where to find us we’re lost where are we? Odysseus looks around replies don’t worry we’ll be all right i watched where the driver was going we’ll retrace their trail

they fly to Tangier travel south by train Tanya is irritable insisting Odysseus carry her backpack Casablanca is ***** 3 men peer from sunglasses act suspicious wear tattered trench coats Tanya and Odysseus snack at cafe which provides hookahs for smoking hashish Odysseus scores several grams Tanya laughs suggests they rent car drive south travel to sandy beaches of Diabet for 6 weeks in the morning she paces around French hotel room with cigarette in one hand ashtray in other like she is sultry 1940’s Hollywood actress she stays in room and devours Penguin Classics Tolstoy Stendhal Proust Huysmans Zola turns out Tanya is sexually frigid she buys Odysseus anything he wants but does not put out they take train Marrakech it is sun drenched with blue skies mountains in distance Odysseus wants to go out explore get ***** with the natives he visits Medina daily witnessing many bizarre scenes he does not understand a woman squatting over an egg a man with no legs dragging himself through marketplace holding up cigarette butts in his hand he meets a professor who is out of work because king of Morocco has closed the universities due to teachers’ strike professor explains woman squatting over egg is fortuneteller and man dragging himself has been offered crutches many times yet makes more money playing off pity of tourists cigarette butts are for sale the professor invites Odysseus to visit Berbers in mountains Odysseus persuades Tanya she reluctantly agrees the 3 travel by bus in first-class front row seats vehicle filled with lively families chickens pig bus driver has assistant who lugs people onto bus or shoves them out door at a midpoint bus stops in little town everyone exits bus then men women children urinate in street local venders sell trinkets snacks Odysseus buys nibbles shish-kabob that later professor informs is roasted cat and dog they reenter bus wait suddenly butchered lamb flank is flung onto Odysseus’s lap a man climbs aboard bus stairs then grabs large carcass and heedlessly walks to back seat Odysseus wipes blood and slime off his jeans Tanya demurely giggles bus climbs mountains arrives at small Berber village professor leads them along narrow winding street of shanty huts sheltering merchants open kitchens professor tastes from various steaming iron kettles finally decides on one they are directed to rickety roof where they sit wait a boy comes up with plastic bowl filled with water and small box of Tide following professor they wash their hands then minutes later proprietor brings up simmering *** of couscous serves it with scratched raw plastic bowls no eating utensils they eat with their fingers Tanya seems bothered declines to partake she withdraws into silence after meal she becomes irritable complains of headache says she needs to return to Marrakech she remains standoffish on bus all the way to French hotel

after Marrakech they take boat trip to Italy while onboard Odysseus meets Italian Count who has an eye for him Odysseus wears Jim Morrison beat-up leather jeans Bruce Lee t-shirt scraggly whiskers Count wears thin manicured beard tiny red Speedo swim trunks Tanya grins amused Count offers Odysseus and Tanya to be guests at his villa in Milan city flourishes with stylish clothes loud lively restaurants classical sculptures covered in car pollution following several weeks of aristocratic wining and dining amazing 11 course elegant soiree Odysseus botches compliance with Count’s desires they are asked to leave Tanya laughs hysterically they board train to Germany based on Tanya’s tour book they find historic hotel with wind rattling windows coin operated hot water bath in Munich Tanya stays in room Odysseus goes to dance club meets brown-hared pale skinned German girl neither speak the other’s language he pays for hourly rated room they play German girl in animated gesturing warns him as he is going down on her but he does not understand until several days later scratching beard finds ***** seeks A-200 lice treatment German version leather pants disposed Tanya knows but says nothing she buys Volkswagen they drive through Black Forest Tanya wants to visit King Ludwig’s castles Odysseus does the driving mostly they listen to the Who’s “Who’s Next” and Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” he follows Tanya’s instructions not knowing who King Ludwig was eventually he learns Ludwig was colorful character built extravagant Disney like castles and friends Richard Wagner Bavaria is cold gray brown deep forest green scenic Swiss Alps visible in southern view they drive from Neuschwanstein to Linderhof to Herrenchiemsee then Freiburg lodge in bed and breakfasts Tanya grows restless by all the driving decides to ditch car along road in northern France as Odysseus unscrews car license by road side several cars stop French people concerned they need help Tanya is anxious hoping for clean get away from abandoning vehicle they board train to Paris Tanya speaks a little French in spring of 1971 they are backpacking in search of hotel on Left Bank it rains all morning sky is overcast Tanya reads “Pride and Prejudice” Odysseus draws in sketchbook at sidewalk café sitting next to them are older Parisian couple man detects they are Americans he turns to them expresses in English his contempt why can’t you Americans learn from France’s lessons in Vietnam? Tanya and Odysseus don’t look up they feel like dumb ugly Americans within days they leave Paris

cross English Channel by boat they find temporary apartment in Earl’s Court in London it is overcast almost every day within a month they move to larger place in Chelsea with backyard with run down English garden Odysseus weeds garden plants tomatoes lettuce carrots radishes flowers Tanya stays in her room smokes reads at night they go out to ethnic restaurants one night they visit Indian restaurant a very proper English woman sitting at next table orders exotic fruit for dessert Odysseus asks waiter what kind of fruit waiter answers mango Odysseus has never seen or tasted mango English woman delicately eats the fruit with fork and knife Odysseus orders mango for dessert he attempts to imitate how English lady proceeded fruit slips around on plate finally out of frustration he picks it up in his hands bites into it he is aroused by how luscious mango is sniffing with nose scraping fruit’s skin with front teeth then ******* the seed Tanya makes a face suddenly the seed slides from his grasp shoots across table Tanya’s cheeks neck turn scarlet voice raises stop it Odys! you’re disgusting! are you intentionally trying to embarrass me? why are you doing this? he replies i’m not doing anything to you i’m enjoying the most delicious fruit i’ve ever tasted who cares what it looks like? later she laughs about incident offers to buy more mangos promises to take him shopping at Harrods tomorrow he goes along with their arrangement until it all seems like pretty background scenery to an empty intimacy missing all his friends back at art school he writes about his loneliness he feels trapped in Tanya’s web several times he sneaks English girls into his room when Tanya jealously confronts him he admits he has had enough and wants to go back to Hartford she suggests at the least they fly to Bermuda for several weeks to get tan before returning he declines on June 30 1971 Odysseus returns to Hartford and Tanya moves to San Francisco on July 3 Jim Morrison overdoses in Paris
BellonasBride May 2016
They said
Don’t wear leggings
Or a shirt that shows your cleavage
Because you need to be covered up
You’re a distraction

They said
Don’t use your period as an excuse
For male teachers to let you go to the bathroom
Because you’re not fooling anybody

They said
Don’t shave your head
Boys can
You can’t and don’t
And won’t because we’ll suspend you

They said
Watch the length of your skirt
The colour of your hair
The shoes and makeup
The piercings
And they call that fair

They said
Come to us if something is wrong
if you’re feeling bullied
if you feel unsafe
I guess they don’t remember asking my friend and I
if we heard of anyone in our year with suicidal tendencies
They asked us because
We were the sensible ones
The bright ones
We couldn't have been depressed.
I guess they didn’t see my panic
and my hand squeezing my wrist.


Because school
Is not a place
Where you can express who you are
School is not the place where you feel safe
It's a battle ground on the outside of your comfort zone.

School isn’t about education
Its a challenge, competition
Its a measurement of your capabilities  

But what if you don't excel?
You’re called out for not being good enough
You're humiliated. Mocked.

You get looked down on
Judged
Embarrassed
And you don’t get your
Degree

As if a degree explains who you are
What you’ve been through
How much you’re worth

As if a degree
Measures the capacity
Of your heart
And your knowledge

And a teacher can share your grade
Make a joke and smirk
Cause they think you’re not worth it

And they can laugh and yell and call your parents
Who don’t think you’re any better.

Because year after year they’ve been led to believe
that you’re easily distracted
that you don’t do what you’re told
that you’re rebellious

Because even if you showed respect to the hypocrisy
That you can't help but notice,
They still won’t understand that you're just fighting
for what you believe is right, for mutual respect.

Because that’s not what you were thought.
You were thought to raise your hand when you want to speak.
And even if you made a valid point
You would still get lectured on putting your hand up when you want to speak.
Discipline put first.

**And that is my definition of school
Chapter Two

“I think of art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.”                Marshall McLuhan  
  
I attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania because my father was incarcerated at the prison located in the same town.  My tuition subsidized to a large extent by G.I. Bill, still a significant means of financing an education for generations of emotionally wasted war veterans. “The United States Penitentiary (USP Lewisburg)” is a high-security federal prison for male inmates. An adjacent satellite prison camp houses minimum-security male offenders. My father was strictly high-security, convicted of various crimes against humanity, unindicted for sundry others. My father liked having me close by, someone on the outside he trusted, who also happened to be on his approved Visitor List. As instructed, I became his conduit for substances both illicit, like drugs, and the purely contraband, a variety of Italian cheeses, salamis, prepared baked casseroles of eggplant parmesan, cannoli, Baci chocolate from Perugia, in Tuscany, south of Florence, and numerous bottles of Italian wine, pungent aperitifs, Grappa, digestive stimulants and sweet liquors. I remained the good son until the day he died, the source of most of the mess I got myself into later on, and specifically the main caper at the heart of this story.

I must confess: my father scared the **** out of me.  Particularly during those years when he was not in jail, those years he spent at home, years coinciding roughly with my early adolescence.  These were my molding clay years, what the amateur psychologists write off with the term: “impressionable years hypothesis.” In his own twisted, grease-ball theory of child rearing, my father may have been applying the “guinea padrone hypothesis,” in his mind, nothing more certain would toughen me up for whatever he and/or Life had planned for me. Actually, his aspirations for me-given my peculiar pedigree--were non-existent as far as the family business went. He knew I’d never be either a Don or a Capo di Tutti Capi, or an Underboss or Sotto Capo.)  A Caporegime—mid-management to be sure, with as many as ten crews of soldiers reporting to him-- was also, for me, out of the question. Dad was a soldier in and of the Lucchese Family, strictly a blue-collar, knock-around kind of guy. But even soldier status—which would have meant no rise in Mafioso caste for him—was completely out of the question, never going to happen for me.

A little background: the Lucchese Family originated in the early 1920s with Gaetano “Tommy” Reina, born in 1889 in Corleone, Sicily. You know the town and its environs well. Fran Coppola did an above average job cinematizing the place in his Godfather films.  Coppola: I am a strict critic when it comes to my goombah, would-be French New Wave auteur Francis Ford Coppola.  Ever since “One From the Heart, 1982”--one of the biggest Hollywood box office flops & financial disasters of all time--he’s been a bit thin-skinned when it comes to criticism.  So, I like to zing him when I can. Actually, “One From the Heart” is worth seeing again, not just for Tom Waits soundtrack--the film’s one Academy Award nomination—but also Natasha Kinski’s ***: always Oscar-worthy in my book. My book? Interesting expression, and factually correct for once, given what you are reading right now.

Tommy Reina was the first Lucchese Capo di Tutti Capi, the first Boss of All the Bosses. By the 1930s the Luccheses pretty much controlled all criminal activity in the Bronx and East Harlem. And Reina begat Pinzolo who begat Gagliano who begat Tommy Three Finger Brown Lucchese (who I once believed, moonlighted as a knuckle ball relief pitcher for Yankees.)
Three Finger Brown gave the Lucchese Family its name. And Tommy begat Carmine Tramunti, who begat Anthony Tony Ducks Corallo. From there the succession gets a bit crazy. Tony Ducks, convicted of Rico charges, goes to prison, sentenced to life.  From behind bars he presides through a pair of candidates most deserving the title of boss: enter Vittorio Little Vic Amuso and Anthony Gaspipe Casso.  Although Little Vic becomes Boss after being nominated by Casso, it is Gaspipe really calling the shots, at least until he joins Little Vic behind bars.
Amuso-Casso begat Louis Louie Bagels Daidone, who begat the current official boss, Stephen Wonderboy Crea.  According to legend, Boss Crea got his nickname from Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, a certain part of his prodigious anatomy resembling the baseball bat hand-carved by Roy Hobbs. To me this sounds a bit too literary, given the family’s SRI Lexile/Reading Performance Scores, but who am I to mock my peoples’ lack of liberal arts education?

Begat begat Begato. (I goof on you, kind reader. Always liked the name Begato in the context of Bible-flavored genealogy. Mille grazie, King James.)

Lewisburg Penitentiary has many distinguished alumni: Whitey Bulger (1963-1965), Jimmy Hoffa (1967-1971) and John Gotti (1969-1972), for example.  And fictionally, you can add Paulie Cicero played by Paul Scorvino in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, not to be confused with Paulie Walnuts Gualtieri played by Tony Sirico from the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Nor, do I refer to Paulie Gatto, the punk who ratted out Sonny Corleone in Coppola’s The Godfather, you know: “You won’t see Paulie no more,” according to fat Clemenza, played by the late Richard “Leave the gun, take my career” Castellano, who insisted to the end that he wasn’t bitter about his underwhelming post-Godfather film career. I know this for a fact from one of my cousins in the Gambino Family. I also know that the one thing the actor Castellano would never comment on was a rumor that he had connections to organized crime, specifically that he was a nephew to Paulie Castellano, the Gambino crime family boss who was assassinated in 1985, outside Midtown New York’s Sparks Steak House, an abrupt corporate takeover commissioned by John Teflon Don Gotti. But I’m really starting to digress here, although I am reminded of another interesting historical personage, namely Joseph Crazy Joe Gallo, who was also terminated “with extreme prejudice” while eating dinner at a restaurant.  Confused? And finally--not to be confused with Paul Muldoon, poetry gatekeeper at The New Yorker magazine, that Irish **** scumbag who consistently rejects publication of my work. About two years ago I started including the following comment in my on-line Contact Us, poetry submission:  “Hey Paulie, Eat a Bag of ****!”

This may come as a surprise, Gentle Reader, but I am a poet, not a Wise Guy.  For reasons to be explained, I never had access to the family business. I am also handicapped by the Liberal Arts education I received, infected by a deluge, a veritable Katrina ****** of classic literature.  That stuff in books rubs off after awhile, and I suppose it was inevitable. I couldn’t help evolving for the most part into a warm-blooded creature, unlike the reptiles and frogs I grew up with.

Again, I am a poet not a wise guy. And, first and foremost, I am a human being. Cold-blooded, I am not. I generate my own heat, which is the best definition I know for how a poet operates. But what the hell do I know? Paulie “Eat a Bag of ****” Muldoon doesn’t think much of my work. And he’s the ******* troll guarding the New Yorker’s poetry gate. Nevertheless, I’m a Poet, not a Wise Guy.  I repeat myself, I know, but it is important to establish this point right from the start of this narrative, because, if you don’t get that you’re never going to get my story.

Maybe the best way to explain my predicament—And I mean PREDICAMENT in the sense of George Santayana: "Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament." (www.brainyquote.com), not to be confused with George’s son Carlos, the Mexican-American rock star: Oye Como Va, Babaloo!

www.youtube.com/watch?v...YouTube Dec 20, 2011 - Uploaded by a106kirk1, The Best of Santana. This song is owned by Santana and Columbia Records.

Maybe the best way for me to explain my predicament is with a poem, one of my early works, unpublished, of course, by Paulie “Eat a Bag of ****” Muldoon:

“CRAZY JOE REVISITED”  
        
by Benjamin Disraeli Sekaquaptewa-Buonaiuto

We WOPs respect criminality,
Particularly when it’s organized,
Which explains why any of us
Concerned with the purity of our bloodline
Have such a difficult time
Navigating the river of respectability.

To wit: JOEY GALLO.
WEB-BIO: (According to Bob Dylan)
“Born in Red Hook, Brooklyn in the year of who knows when,
Opened up his eyes to the tune of accordion.

“Joey” Lyrics/Send "Joey" Ringtone to your Cell
Joseph Gallo, AKA: "Joey the Blond."
He was a celebrated New York City gangster,
A made member of the Profaci crime family,
Later known as the Colombo crime family,

That’s right, CRAZY JOE!
One time toward the end of a 10-year stretch,
At three different state prisons,
Including Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York,
Joey was interviewed in his prison cell
By a famous NY Daily News reporter named Joe McGinnis.
The first thing the reporter sees?
One complete wall of the cell is lined with books, a
Green leather bound wall of Harvard Classics.
After a few hours mainly listening to Joey
Wax eloquently about his life,
A narrative spiced up with elegant summaries,
Of classic Greek theory, Roman history,
Nietzsche and other 19th Century German philosophers,
McGinnis is completely blown away by Inmate Gallo,
Both Joey’s erudition and the power of his intellect,
The reporter asks a question right outta
The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie:
“Mr. Gallo, I must say,
The power of your erudition and intellect
Is simply overwhelming.
You are a brilliant man.
You could have been anything,
Your heart or ambition desired:
A doctor, a lawyer, an architect . . .
Yet you became a criminal. Why?”

Joey Gallo: (turning his head sideways like Peter Falk or Vincent Donofrio, with a look on his face like Go Back to Nebraska, You ******* Momo!)

“Understand something, Sonny:
Those kids who grew up to be,
Doctors and lawyers and architects . . .

They couldn’t make it on the street.”

Gallo later initiated one of the bloodiest mob conflicts,
Since the 1931 Castellammare War,
And was murdered as a result of it,
While quietly enjoying,
A plate of linguini with clam sauce,
At a table--normally a serene table--
At Umberto’s Clam House.

Italian Restaurant Little Italy - Umberto's Clam House (www.umbertosclamhouse.com)
In Little Italy New York City 132 Mulberry Street, New York City | 212-431-7545.

Whose current manager --in response to all restaurant critics--
Has this to say:
“They keep coming back, don’t they?
The joint is a holy shrine, for chrissakes!
I never claimed it was the food or the service.
Gimme a ******* break, you momo!
I should ask my paisan, Joe Pesci
To put your ******* head in a vise.”

(Again, Martin Scorsese getting it exactly right, This time in  . . . Casino (1995) - IMDb www.imdb.com/title/tt0112641/Internet Movie Database Rating: 8.2/10 - ‎241,478 votes Directed by Martin Scorsese. With Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods. Greed, deception, money, power, and ****** occur between two  . . . Full Cast & Crew - ‎Trivia - ‎Awards - ‎(1995) - IMDb)

Given my lifelong, serious exposure to and interest in German philosophy, I subscribe to the same weltanschauung--pronounced: veltˌänˌSHouəNG—that governed Joey Gallo’s behavior.  My point and Mr. Gallo’s are exactly the same:  a man’s ability to make it on the street is the true measure of his worth.  This ethos was a prominent one in the Bronx where and when I grew up, where I came of age during the 1950s and 60s.  Italian organized crime was always an option, actually one of the preferred options--like playing for the Yankees or being a movie star—until, that is, reality set in.  And reality came in many forms. For 100% Italian kids it came in a moment of crystal adolescent clarity and self-evaluation:  Am I tough enough to make it on the street?  Am I ever going to be tough enough to make it on the street? Will I be eaten alive by more cunning, more violent predators on the street?

For me, the setting in of reality took an entirely different form.  I knew I had what it takes, i.e., the requisite ferocity for street life. I had it in spades, as they say. In fact, I’d been blessed with the gift of hyper-volatility—traced back to my great-grandfather, Pietro of the village of Moschiano, in the province of Avellino, in the region of Campania, Italia Sud. Having visited Moschiano in my early 20s and again in my late 50s, I know the place well. The village square sits “down in the holler,” like in West Virginia; the Apennine terrain, like the Appalachians, rugged and thick. Rugged and thick like the people, at least in part my people. And volatile, I am, gifted with a primitive disposition when it comes to what our good friend Abraham Maslow would call lower order needs. And please, don’t ask me to explain myself now; just keep reading, *******.  All your questions will be answered.

Great Grandfather Pietro once, at point blank range, blew a man’s head off with a lumpara, or sawed-off shotgun. It was during an argument over—get this--a penny’s worth of pumpkin seeds--one of many stories I never learned in childhood. He served 10 years in a Neapolitan penitentiary before being paroled and forced to immigrate to America.  The government of the relatively new nation--The Kingdom of Italy (1861)--came up with a unique eugenic solution for the hunger and misery down south, south of Rome, the long shin bone, ankle, foot, toes & kickball that are the remote regions of the Mezzogiorno, Southern Italy: Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia & Sicilia. Northern politicians asked themselves: how do we flush these skeevy southerners, these crooks and assassins down South, how do we flush the skifosos down the toilet—the flush toilet, a Roman invention, I report proudly and accept the gratitude on behalf of my people. Immigration to America: Fidel Castro did the same thing in the 1980s, hosing out his jails and mental hospitals with that Marielista boatlift/Emma Lazarus Remix: “Give us your tired and poor, your lunatics, thieves and murderers.” But I digress. I’ll give you my entire take on the history of Italy including Berlusconi and the “Bunga Bunga” parties with 14-year old Moroccan pole dancers . . . go ahead, skip ahead.

Yes, genetically speaking, I was sufficiently ferocious to make it on the street, and it took very little spark to light my fuse. Moreover, I’ve always been good at figuring out the angles--call it street smarts--also learned early in life. Likewise, for knowing the territory: The Bronx was my habitat. I was rapacious and predacious by nature, and if there was a loose buck out there, and legs to be broken, I knew where to go.
Yet, alas, despite all my natural talents & acquired skills, I remained persona-non-grata for the Lucchese Family. To my great misfortune, I fell into a category of human being largely shunned by Italian organized crime: Mestizo-Italiano, a diluted form of full strength 100% Italian blood. It’s one of those voodoo blood-brotherhood things practiced by Southern European, Mediterranean tribal people, only in part my people.  Growing up, my predicament was always tricky, always somewhat bizarre. Simply put: I was of a totally different tribe. Blame my exotic mother, a genuine Hopi Corn Maiden from Shungopavi, high up on Second Mesa of the Hopi Reservation, way out in northern Arizona. And if this is not sufficiently, ******* nuts enough for you, add to the child-rearing minestrone that she raised me Jewish in The Bronx.  I **** you not. I took my Bar Mitzvah Hebrew instruction from the infamous Rabbi Meir Kahane, that’s right, Meir “Crazy Rebbe” Kahane himself--pronounced kɑː'hɑːna--if you grok the phonetics.

In light of the previously addressed “impressionable years hypothesis,” I wrote a poem about my early years. It follows in the next chapter. It is an epic tale, a biographical magnum opus, a veritable creation myth, conceived one night several years ago while squatting in a sweat lodge, tripping on peyote. I
sound of waves crashing against shore
she says it’s the tone in your voice
sound of waves crashing against shore
he asks what tone are you referring to what are you hearing
sound of waves crashing against shore
she says i’m an artist too you don’t have to tell me
sound of waves crashing against shore
he explains i was simply affirming my vocation in order to elucidate why i perceive another way
sound of waves crashing against shore
she says you don’t need to pose or differentiate for me you are so ******* self-absorbed
sound of waves crashing against shore
he answers self-conscious possibly not self-absorbed i think it is intelligent to question everything to suspect all we see think we know maybe a greater mystery than any of us realize exists beyond all our beliefs
sound of waves crashing against shore
she says i think it’s time for us to stop talking
sound of waves crashing against shore
he says why can’t you make it easy why must everything be a fight
sound of waves crashing against shore

her ****** becomes a deep dark narrowing tunnel he is trapped in thinning air smells like ocean
sound of waves crashing against shore
her voice detached distant disaffected says fine
sound of waves crashing against shore
he questions fine? find? line? sign? can you hear me? anyone hear me?
sound of waves crashing against shore
she purposely ignores his panting gasping shrieking
sound of waves crashing against shore
later she tells the surgeon who performs the extraction then the police detectives who conduct the investigation she had no idea he was lost in there
sound of waves crashing against shore
unanimous jury finds her guilty she screams out at courtroom he was a self-absorbed dreamer this is all wrong
sound of waves crashing against shore
the judge declares mistrial dismisses case based on prosecution’s inability to refute so-called artist’s willingness to enter of his own volition
sound of waves crashing against shore
late at night she feels his voice whisper circulating through her body haunting her
sound of waves crashing against shore
CHAPTER ONE

My geographic movements during the past year could be called “A Tale of Two Couches.” So as June draws to a close, I assume the position here again on Couch California. I am back in Hemet, the place the smug among us call Hemetucky--as if there was nothing a couple of Mint Juleps and a **** of Blue Grass wouldn’t cure. It is the year of our Lord, 2014: so far an interesting year for women. There was a woman who wore socks to bed. There was always my long-time, here today-gone tomorrow, long time companion, currently teaching somewhere remote on the Big Rez, a southwestern Navajo concentration camp near the 4 Corners.  Next, there’s my current object of affection, that fine and frisky lady from The Bronx by way of Bernalillo--currently at home in Laguna Beach, Orange County. Trixie: my main squeeze at the moment.

And now, completely out of the ******* blue this afternoon, my cell phone rings and it’s ******* Juanita--my all-time favorite woman, Juanita Mi Favorita de La Quinta--a Coachella Valley town and desert wadi, extending its lucrative winter tourist season to become a significant, year-round retirement venue and a robust service economy feeding off it.  Juanita arrived there in the late 80s, in middle of her early forties.  She was unemployed, homeless, just a suitcase to her name and a two-year old toddler in tow. Her parents were there, as was her Aunt Peggy.  Juanita was always Peggy’s favorite niece, her favorite child, actually, Peggy herself being childless, never married.  Aunt Peggy put her maternal instincts to work on Juanita Rodriguez, her Sister Rosalia’s second favorite twin daughter.

Maria, Rosalia’s first favorite daughter, Juanita’s twin sister—MARIA: lives in Newport Beach and acts as an extra in many commercial ads shot in southern California and elsewhere, an irony never without sting for Juanita. “Que lastima!” Poor Juanita: as her would-be Hollywood Movie star aspirations disintegrated over the years, along with her unrealized lower expectations to be TV star, and even those semi-glamorous modeling gigs at trade shows and fairs—the elephant’s graveyard of the acting profession—failed to materialize, and now her celebrity habitat shrunken even further, to that sporadic but consistent mockery of stardom, I refer to any would-be thespian’s ignominious one-celled visual protozoan: The Extra Call List.  And—*******-- what happens next? Juanita’s sister Maria starts getting these parts, starts getting hired by filling out a ******* postcard, starts getting paid to look good in the background. *******: no professional education or instruction, no agent, and no need to **** off both the producer, the producer’s cousin Morey, the director and the director’s wife’s huge Golden retriever, Genghis--actually a mighty handsome animal--or needing to spill $4K on that Derma-brasion, Juanita inflicted on herself last year.

Juanita, as you already know, was the second favorite daughter and the second favorite twin of the family. She became the third favorite child in her three-child family upon the arrival of her slick baby brother Nico-- the Golden Child, who grew up to be a glib Merrill-Lynch stockbroker, office and residence, Beverly Hills 90112.  (Enter forcefully into the narrative, His Nibs himself, Sir Nicodemus of Hollywood, Juanita and Maria’s baby brother Nico. He speaks: “Excuse me, stockbroker my ***, as it says in a 11 point Rockwell Boldfont, right here on my gold-leaf embossed business card: Senior Large Capital Investment Counselor.”)

No, Juanita had a hard time just treading water in that Cleveland shark tank. And though she lacked nothing in the cuteness department, she had this one fatal flaw, namely, the gift of ***** and sass and a reflex to speak truth to power. Juanita: rejected by Rosalia as a threat to her hegemony as Boss of the Girl’s Club, was cast adrift on a tempestuous childhood cruel Montserrat sea, out there on the briny deep . . .  
                

                                      



High Seas: where many a tuna has a Sorry Charlie moment: “Star-Kist don’t want no tuna with good taste; Star-Kist wants a tuna that tastes good.”

Finally, Juanita is rescued, taken aboard the Good/Soul Aunt Peggy—that wayward bark Elisabeta Rodriguez, home-ported in Southside, Chicago, Illinois—the rescue at sea performed in classy, rather low-key manner; no Andrea Doria drama, but understated:

{Camera One, Helicopter above, zooms over turbulent ocean surface. Peggy, an oasis of calm, aboard the raft Kon Tiki with Thor Heyerdahl and his crew, floats by, whispering, “Going my way, Honey? Climb aboard. Have a homemade oatmeal cookie and a small glass tumbler of Jack Daniels.” Okay, no, that’s not fair. Sure Aunt Peggy drank, but never got round to offering you a drink until you were well into your 30s. Let’s just say she offered you a warm glass of milk, the mother’s milk deprived you by your mother, her sister Rosalia. Dear Aunt Peggy: a seasoned survivor herself, flawed by early childhood deafness and grotesque speech.  Yet, she had refused to settle for life in an asylum. She made a go at life.  She learned; she prospered; she flourished. And when the time came, she was there for you in the Coachella Desert, there for her feisty niece Juanita Ann.  Aunt Peggy: a loving spirit personified, became Juanita’s special confidant and counselor, her personal cheer squad of one. Juanita, of course, a former cheerleader herself--an early hint of greatness to be sure, a highlight, perhaps the highlight of her life, shown off every Halloween, still celebrated at American high schools each Fall. She is the Principal’s secretary at a huge suburban high school in Indio. Each Halloween, if the date falls on a school day, Juanita arrives for work wearing that scrupulously preserved, vintage 1966 cheerleader uniform, looking real foxy still, snug now in all the right places. Eternal Truth: Juanita has always and will always be good looking. Life with Juanita is perpetual “ooh la-la.”

So, I am on the couch that afternoon, reading more of Gramsci’s prison notebooks, specifically the philosophy he calls “Praxis.”  Completely out of the ******* blue, Juanita calls me on a RESTRICTED phone, as I said, Juanita, a torch I’ve kept burning for years, flaring up like a refinery flame--oil still very much in the present energy mix--hope springing eternal as they say, and instantly my mission in life is rekindling our lost love. Juanita’s conceived her mission prior to her phone call:  using me to keep her son from being whacked by the local Eme--the Mexican Mafia—that ethnic-pride social club that the RICO-squad-- using family tree socio-grams and other expensively-printed graphics, the one RICO keeps trying to convince us is some sort of organized crime conspiracy. The Mexican Mafia: like everything else practical and utilitarian in this world: THAT’S ITALIAN! And, if you are starting to sense a bit of ethnic chauvinism on, between & below the lines, you are barking up the right tree.
                                                           ­     
      
                                                            
(AUTHOR’S POST-SCRIPT EDIT: And, an ad for dog food right here? Not the best choice of sponsors, perhaps, at the moment. Juanita was far off from the ****** ***** that start looking not half-bad at 2:30 in the glazy morning, not anywhere near those beasts you find lingering in the airport bars you usually frequent near closing time on Saturday nights. No, I remind you that Juanita was all “ooh la-la.” In my next printing—and my Lord, there have been so many, haven’t there, Paulie “Eat-a-Bag-of-****” Muldoon? I will change out the Alpo ad, plugging in a spot for Aunt Jemima pancake syrup or Betty Crocker whipped cream, you know, something more apropos.)

Juanita, I really must hand it to you. You showed the greatest staying power, year after year as I moved further and further away from La Quinta, California. Juanita: you embraced what was good in me, ignored my flaws and strengthened me with your love for so many years. As far as you and Peggy, I guess it was a case of the “apple not falling far from the tree” one of many endearing Midwestern metaphors you taught me.  Peggy taught you, taught you to be kind and then you taught me. No matter what bizarre venue I pulled out of my ***, you showed above-average staying power, continued to visit me wherever I went, Casa Grande & Buckeye, Arizona, Appalachia, West Virginia, and even Italy, when I thought I’d try Europe again after so many years.  With each move, each time, Juanita renewed her commitment to the relationship. Meanwhile, I continued to test her, quantifying her dedication, undermining her sense of mission to disprove my worldview on the expendability of women. Surely, you know that one: the unreliability of women, women who disappear without saying goodbye. That old deeply etched conviction to never get attached to a woman, any woman, based on the empirical fact that women have been known to suddenly die, a fact seared into my still tender metal by the surprise death of my mother on 11 January 1962.

1962. It was already an insecure world, to wit:  The Cuban Missile Crisis. Nikita Khrushchev, in his time both Dr. No and Dr. Evil, namely the Premier whom we Baby Boomers saw as Boogey Man of All Time (Although Putin is showing potential, lately)—the Kennedy ****** (what else could you call it?). All these events scary, whether or not I got the chronology right . . . I remained on high alert for any threat to my delicate adolescent psyche.  My mother-Rosa Teresa Sekaquaptewa-died at 2 o’clock in the morning, screaming in agony while apologizing to my father for not having his dinner on the table when he walked in from work that prior afternoon. She’d already been in bed since noon, attended by two of my aunts--both my father’s sisters--who loved their Hopi sister-in-law, Rosa.  Also present was Lafcadio Smirnoff, M.D.--last of the house call medicine men--a dapper, mustachioed, swarthy gentleman, misdiagnosing her abdominal pain as a 24-hour virus, while she bled out internally for at least eight more hours, her whimpers alternated with screams, well into the wee hours of the morning.

I was upstairs in that dormer bedroom listening to her die. An hour later, Father Numb-nuts of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish teleported in, beaming directly into my bedroom from the parish rectory.  Father Seamus Numb-nuts, an illuminated Burning Bush . . . not quite the bush I ‘d conjured at other times, so many times alone with Gwen Wong, ******* Playmate of the Year, 1961, one of Hefner’s hot centerfolds. No, give me a ******* break, you momo! Whacking off is the last thing on a libidinous, adolescent guinea’s brain when his mama is being tortured and killed by God. Even Alexander Portnoy, Philip Roth’s early avatar would have drawn the wanking line at that unforgettable moment.

No, perhaps what I’d had in mind was The Burning Bush Golf Course where so much of Fletcher Kneble’s political mischief and government shenanigans got cooked up. You remember his books, some of the Cold War’s finest: Seven Days in May, Vanished, etc.

Or better yet, perhaps the greatest political slogan of the 20th century: “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” Thank you, Jesse. “Thank you, Reverend Jackson,” I slip into my Excellence in Broadcasting mode, my very own private Limbaugh. Announcing my on- air arrival is El Rushbo’s unmistakable, totally recognizable bass line bumper, courtesy of Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders band mate, guitarist Tony Butler: Dum, dum, dum-dum, Da-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum-dum. Single, “My City Was Gone” by The Pretenders
Rush Limbaugh Song– YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=SScW9r0y3c4

I become Reverend Jackson. I emerge from the vapors, an obscure abyss of deep family pangs and disappointments, ever-diminishing public relevance and fade to black (no pun intended) and media oblivion. The only thing left is that line:  “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” You will always own that line, Jesse--true political genius (to wit: Rainbow Coalition) Jackson that you are, despite El Rush-Bo’s virulent anti-Black animus, his predilection to mock you, Al Sharpton, Corey Booker, Barack “Hussein” Obama, and any other professional ***** in America. Isn’t it time someone came right out and tagged Mr. Limbaugh as the Father Coughlin of our time.

Meanwhile back in The Bronx, enter another man of the cloth:  It’s Seamus Numb-nuts, making one of his many well-documented spectral visitations, his splendiferous miracles and wonders. How much longer will the Vatican ignore this humble Bronx priest, this epitome of Sainthood; this reverent man, lacking only the stigmata for a unanimous consent vote? Quote the Numb-nuts: “God Works in Mysterious Ways.” An old standard to be sure, but a lovely, all-purpose bromide for explaining why evil exists in our world. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed; I lost God at that moment, consequently shooting myself in the foot--metaphorically-speaking-condemning myself to an unshielded life, life OUT THE BUSHES!  I went forth into the world without God, without that handy divine crutch, that Andy Devine metaphor for when one’s legs grow weary: a puff of smoke, a reverb twang and a nasty frog croaking “Hi-ya, Kids. Hi-ya, Hi-ya. Hi-ya.”

   Andy's Gang - Pasta Fazooli vs. Froggy the Gremlin - YouTube
► 3:55► 3:55
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35odPm7b3w Aug 8, 2012 - Uploaded by jmgilsinger
Froggy the Gremlin -Tuba ... Andy Devine (Aug 24, 1952)

Life for me became lonely and purposeless. And probably explains my susceptibility to military discipline and a subsequent career in clandestine government service. In 1968--the very day I turned nineteen, September 25th of that year—that fateful day when I should have shot myself in the foot—literally not metaphorically--earning that coveted 4-F physical rejection, a draft deferment to be desired, that 4-F classification of unfitness for duty, a necessary loophole in U.S. conscript service law.  The Draft: last used during that great commonwealth Cold War purge, that culling out of the unwashed, uneducated children of immigrants, that cut-rate, discount, lower socio-economic ***** bank—the only bank where after you make a deposit, you lose interest, to wit: most Black, Hispanic and Poor White Trash parents.  We were cannon fodder, many of us got to be planted at Arlington and other holy American shrines, still wrapped in black or olive drab leak-proof body bags, doing our generational bit to strengthen the gene pool left behind. A debt, some would say, we owed the country and, given the sorry state of the global wicket, increasingly an obligation to the species. And if I had to predict an outcome, Fascism in America will arrive riding the white horse of the environmental, anti-nuclear Bolsheviks. One could argue that Communism has moved so far left on the political spectrum that it’s now the far right.  Concoct a legislative policy goal, accomplish it legally as the bill becomes Law, signed by the President, endorsed and blessed by The U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

To wit: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough?” declared Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., an Associate Supreme Court Justice at the time, buttressing a majority argument harnessing the power of U.S. law as a legal means of purifying the race.  When euthanasia failed to win over American hearts and mind, the Federal Government played the war card again and again. Vietnam: undeclared and therefore unconstitutional--except for that Gulf of Tonkin ******* resolution. Vietnam: a cost-plus eugenics project, if ever there was one, although responsive, of course, to the needs of the Military-Industrial Complex.  ******* Ike: he warned us against Fascism in America. As usual, we ignored the man in charge.

Eugenics? Why didn’t the government just put all the retards on the stand, as John Frankenheimer did in Judgment at Nuremberg, a crafty Maximilian Schell humiliating a feeble-minded Montgomery Clift?  Why not, make everyone face a public tribunal, forcing all of us to testify in court, exposing our many substandard and borderline substandard cerebral deficits?  Why not force everyone to demonstrate just how ******* dumb we are, using some clever intelligence test, something l
Kevin Jul 2014
your eyes contain galaxies,
which explains why i get lost in them
every time i look at you.
Carson Sep 2017
Half dead slaves,
Gold infused pyramids,
and the crocodiles swimming in the lake of blood
His imprints were the scars,
the sweat,
and the stance of formation in the mud.
He explains Moses and Nile River  


Built with blood blistering splinters,
shadows of deep sea life,
and swift waves of animals of his creation
His anger casted the storm,
Gave the family a reason for determination,
and before all man binding extinction.
He explains Noah and his Arc


Corroded from rust is the nails,
millions of pounds weight at his chest,
and the darkness and light met
He gave us his only Holy son,
disgusting sins forgiven,
and a beautiful promise kept
He explains Jesus Christ and the Cross.


Broken buttons with loose string,
fog for what is clear sight,
and alcohol veins with smoke inflamed lungs
Deep with concentrated breaths,
A loving touch without a second glimpse,
and with act of forgiveness pouring from his tongue.
He explains Who he is and his love for us


A bite from the forbidden fruit,
hourglass sand starting for the first time,
and visions of unspeakable blaspheme,
The suffrage, the extinction, or the sacrifice
plaguing him more than the engulfing fire evil caused
and he opens his arms for his loving creation to live with him for Eternity
He explains no matter what, he is there, and this is not the end.
judy smith Dec 2016
She has dressed Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o and Uganda's chess Woman Candidate Master Phiona Mutesi for the premiere of 'Queen of Katwe'. She has also designed several Miss Uganda and Miss Tourism contestants among others.

Yet Brenda Niwagaba Maraka, who is undoubtedly among Uganda's top fashion designers, describes herself as "just a simple person who loves work and fashion". She is also quick to recognise people who have inspired her, including renowned fashion designer and artist Stella Atal and Xenson Samson Ssenkaaba

In January 2007, Maraka officially launched 'Brendamaraka' as a fashion label.

"I work to represent Uganda as a tropical country through fashion and also extend Kampala's position as a fashion hub," said Maraka.

For the love of developing and inspiring others through her fashion skills, Maraka grooms two talented and interested students in fashion and design every year.

Come next year January, Maraka is set to showcase at her own fashion show marking ten years in the industry.

It will be the highest point for a woman who from way back, as a young girl, has loved being artistic. It was no surprise that she concentrated on art in school and one of her fondest memories as a student is designing costumes for school plays and beauty pageants.

"That confirmed my goal in life of creating designs through my own fashion label," she says, "I love to create new things."

At 13 years old, after completing primary education, Maraka proceeded to Namasagali College in Kamuli for O-level and these to her were years of fun and building character. She then left to a new environment of only girls at Trinity College Nabbingo for A-level and by the time she left she had forged a career path.

"It was a totally different and harder experience. However, by the time I completed Form six, I knew what I was meant to be a fashion designer courtesy of the school's arrangement on career guidance," says Maraka.

She was offered several opportunities including one on government sponsorship at Makerere University all of which were meant to grow her fashion career but Maraka settled for a fashion design program at the London Academy of Design and dress making where she completed in 2005.

Maraka chose exposure to international fashion trends at the London school at a cost rather than free education in Uganda. She rates it as a priceless decision that has paid off.

In 2014 as part of her internship program, Maraka made a maiden runaway showcase during the Uganda International Fashion Week and since then she has not looked back. She has participated in a number of fashion events both in Uganda and UK.

In comparing London's fashion industry to Uganda, Maraka says London has already established big brands and it is close to impossible for anyone starting out.

"The industry is faster, bigger and people produce too many new collections every year as the market demands," she says.

By contrast, she says, Uganda offers limitless opportunities are limitless or, in her words, "There is room to define who you are".

Maraka was born in Soroti-Teso, Eastern Uganda in 1981. She was raised by a single mother Elizabeth Maraka who worked long at the Soroti Flying School and she says is her great inspiration. She used to make dresses for her and remains her stylist to date. Maraka grew up as an only child because her twin siblings died. It is the reason she is also called Akello, meaning 'follower of twins'.

Liteside

Any three things we don't know about you?

I am an only child of my mother. I really love sports to the extent that I train for kickboxing. I had a dream of representing Uganda for RIO 2016 though it didn't come to pass. When I am confident enough to have my face punched, I will get to the ring.

I love to travel and for this year, I chose to visit every part of Uganda that I had never visited. One of them was Kidepo and it was a breathtaking experience where I realised I had made it. I also visited the pyramids in Cairo.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Doing what you love. If you think you can regret doing it, then it's not worth doing. Even when you fail to achieve at something you loved doing, you gain satisfaction.

What is your greatest fear?

I have a phobia for rodents. I can face anything in life but not them.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I am not a confrontational person yet sometimes I wish I could be one to give my all. It makes people walk all over me.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I just don't like dishonest people. I appreciate honesty.

Which living person do you most admire?

My Mother, Elizabeth Maraka; she taught me to be a strong person, believe in myself and to see good in people. I am privileged to live with her even as an adult.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Everything about improving my fashion and design career.

What is the greatest thing you have ever done?

I still have to do it and I am planning on how to achieve it.

What is your current state of mind?

I am at peace and love my life.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

That whole saying of 'Government should help us' or 'government has not done much' just breaks my heart. How I wish the same people would ask themselves what they have done for government as well. Anyone can start small and grow big.

What does being powerful mean to you?

Being able to make a difference in someone's life or inspire someone. It can also mean being well connected in society.

On what occasion do you lie?

I like to be real.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

When I was young I was chubby and I didn't like it but I have since found peace in myself.

Which living person do you most despise?

Even when I see the worst in a person, I don't destroy bridges because I might need them tomorrow.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Having a plan or purpose in life.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Having a purpose in life.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I like saying 'you know' and 'yeah'.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I guess it is my Mum but there are so many other people I love.

When and where were you happiest?

There is no one single moment because there are so many things I do that bring happiness to me. Finishing School in 2006 was a happy moment but also each time I remember when I had my first fashion show during my internship in 2004, I am fulfilled.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I love music and may be one day I hope I will drop an album. I used to play a violin and hope that one day I will do it once more.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I am just in love with myself.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I am still a work in progress; I haven't yet reached there.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

As me and fix everything I didn't do from as far as a child.

Where would you most like to live?

Uganda but particularly in Karamoja and Kidepo; the landscape and weather are amazing. It can rain so heavily and dry up so fast.

What is your most treasured possession?

I never got to see my grandfather but I was given a crucifix from his things. It has that sentimental value and makes me relate with him. But even when everything is taken away from me, I can start afresh and build-up.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Suffering from cancer; I visited Mulago Cancer ward and witnessed people suffer in too much pain. Things like broken heart can be amended but not cancer.

What is your favorite occupation?

I always wanted to be a fashion designer.

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty

Who are your favorite writers?

I am not a fan of any particular person but I love to read inspirational pieces.

Who is your hero of fiction?

I like Superman and how he comes in to rescue at the right time. I wish there were true supermen.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I may model myself to Mother Theresa but I can't come even an inch to who she was and what she did.

What is your greatest regret?

I don't regret anything.

How would you like to die?

I want to die of old age on my bed with my grand children all looking and smiling at me.

What is your motto?

Always make sure you are climbing the right hill.Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/backless-formal-dresses | http://www.marieaustralia.com/long-formal-dresses
Lucky Queue Sep 2012
One friend is deaf but manages to hear twice as much as I do,
while simultaneously embedding himself in games and genius.
One friend is kind and smart, always complimenting and supporting others before herself.
One friend is quiet, and she is both easily embarrassed
and easily embarrassing.
One friend is the previous friend's brother,
and crushes on me while never saying enough.
One friend is very intelligent and geeky,
and detests wearing skirts even more than I.
One friend is really in your face and dramatic,
pushing the boundaries on everything, but noone hates him.
One friend is the unfortunate brother of a great annoyance, but is her polar opposite.
One friend has hair of constantly changing color;
blue, green, pink, black, yellow, brown,
but always the same hoodie no matter her hair choice.
One friend has a thousand faux laughs,
but guards his true one from the light.
One friend has a mocking joke for everything,
and you can't help but laugh with her.
One friend has a treasured hat and while sketching everyone, everything, and everywhere, lays my insecurities to rest as I do the same for him, both of us in need of some love
and understanding from a kindred spirit.
One friend has an obsession with a band and a book and a show, and an overbubbling enthusiasm for everything in her life.
One friend has a meme for everything,
and a perverse thought for every situation he encounters.
One friend is half blind but she manages to see twice
as much as me and explains everything beautifully.
One friend is crazy and gets away with the exclamation of abraham lincoln in any awkward silence because its just his nature.
One friend is as a mouse, but a genius in every aspect
and hides behind her glasses.
One friend is obnoxiously loud and more of a dork than the gangster his hoodie implies so everyone simply laughs.
One friend smiles like a duck in the cutest way,
and wears her square glasses in the best way.
One friend longs for a love that is loyal
and hide s behind his temperment
So... this isn't *quite* as silly as I initially intended... I am posting this before it's completely finished though, so there will be more added later.
In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
kate beckinsale & anne hathaway
can speak
the name... matthew all
day long...
                 and right into the night...
i'll try to fall asleep...
must be an Oedipus complex
sort of thing,
   in primary school my school
friends thought that my
mother had the visage for
   sandra bullock...
   ha ha! good luck to the men fathering
daughters!
          you ever find it easier
to pet casts, and cage tigers?!
              **** me...
my shatten is soliloquy central...
           i drink to excess and
listen to excess erotica latex ****
music...
      and then? do nothing about it...
i like cinema...
                         **** me...
a fetish for leather that extends
past a ******...
    i would have asked her sincere self:
can we drop the ******
so that i might attire myself
in gimp?
      she evidently replied
a no with her 19 years of existence...
oh... under-baked apple pie
my dear...
            ha ha!
           no, i have more cherries
to pick, i''m beyond stalking some famous grimace...
you are here           .



and i?



                                           .              am here...

who needs the excess of
quasi-journalistic coverage anyway?
    
           that transitioning harem
of rock stars...
     like Kafka said:
i'll be waiting for something
i never had,
and missing it,
            by never having touched
a peek behind the curtain...

   i'll wait... for what i could never have...
and within the confines
of what i could never have,
          i'll settle for what i can already, have.

kate beckinsale & anne hathaway
can speak the name matthew
all day long, and i won't mind...
        
      would i be the one following them?
train-spotting....
         taxi counts...
                 ******* crows that
croak mid-flight count...
           the number of canadian geese
in b-54 formation
migrating come mid-autumn...

          geek without the cartoons...
push me...
   keep pushing...
     i want the shove
and the ****** wording of auto-suggestive
courting of -
                           courtesy...

              thank you...
i'd rather stalk my own shadow...
looking out for the plot-line of
an eased out **** doing the olympic
gold medal dive into
the crapper pool,
via analyzing the shadow of plop
pop gold...

        zero splash...

                a ******* harmonium
on the neck of a Polish teenager,
traveling on a Warsaw tram
      to reach a girl who...
              was counting petals,
and the worth(s) of considering
the concise surmount of love...

             yeah... next time?
i'll be the one used to invigorating
the stance on stalking
one's own shadow...
             why?
because i fidget...
i get all jerky...
                  the hype instigator
movement...
   ******* a woman
like a piston of a car's momentum...

               does it really matter?
i thought the Madonna-***** complex
wasn't a man-"thing"?
   if man owns the Freudian Oedipus
complex...
  does man also have to lend in his
strap-on dictum for the
Madonna-***** complex?
   so...
              that's not a wholly woman "thing"?
she's doesn't own that
complex?
   it's man's fault?!

             i know the Rastafarian Putin
isn't rasp -
but you know that Israeli ******
are better than the Russian ones...
so the story goes...

               which kinda explains...
impotent with women trapped
within the Madonna-***** complex...
with Bulgarian prostitutes?
a limp **** only, and only when
i forgot to trim my ***** hair,
my Eden...

  i have the Oedipus complex...
am i also responsible for
the Madonna-***** complex?!
really?
                        you sure that women
are not supposed to attend to question
this trans-schizophrenic,
   squint / split /
           dichotomy?

                   prior mothers,
that prerequisite motherhood
with the basis of ******* themselves...

   the Madonna-***** complex
is outside the realm of the male constraint /
castration of rules...

   i already mentioned it...
i couldn't be circumcised...
   protruding veins, that met at the zenith
of the *******...
if they circumcised me...
        i would have bled to death...
the, "crime" of ******* is
a lot easier to handle...
   if you haven't been circumcised...

because?
   circumcision is a motivational tactic...
you are... technically... not allowed
to ******* once you've been
circumcised...
  
               you're free, to *******...
if you haven't been circumcised...
as a male...
            no problem...
problem of ******* comes...
when you persist in the act...
but you don't actually possess the excess
skin, that might allow you
the prime, solipsistic act...

    ergo?
******* is worth a justified critique...
ONLY, and only IF...
you've been circumcised...
sorry if you have...
           notably because?
your priest isn't a rabbi...
and there's no fiddler on the roof
matchmaker song
to boot.

oh no, there's no problem with the act
of *******...
  but there is... if you have been
circumcised...
  why?
    during ******* i used to pull my *******
back...
  and **** with an unsheathed
****...

      but in private?
the ******* was rolled back on,
to counter the imitation of experiencing ****
***... with a clenched fist.
Ceeam Jul 2016
Biodiversity, an abstract term used in natural science,
Meaning diversity of life in a diversity of places.
Tonight I really feel all the compliance,
With this term occuring in my life in so many cases.

I have both positive and negative associations,
If I relate biodiversity to my own life.
It kind of explains all the complications,
On the road to when and where I thrive.

When I look at myself in the mirror,
I see the diversity in my face.
Both soft like a mother and severe like an emperor,
And my hair looks like it's from another race.

It is curly and it is dark,
While my skin is quite pale.
Blue eyes which sometimes brightly spark,
But other times greyish and frail.

Some moments I feel hyper,
like I'm going to explode.
I talk, walk, jump and stir,
and my brain says 'overload'.

Other moments however I feel calm and peace,
I lay down just quietly watch the sun.
Concentrated on every breath I release,
A warm ambiance like that of a mum.

Some mornings I feel like I'm the sexiest ******* the planet,
I take a red dress and let it slip over my hips.
Walk on 15 cm heels like my feet are made of granite,
And merely hope to use my red coated lips.

Other times even my jogging pants don't seem to fit,
I feel like the uggliest girl in town and only see disgust.
I watch useless YouTube videos infinite,
Because everything else feels like a must.

I can go on with this poem for a long time,
But it makes no sense.
It is just that with this rhyme,
I put on paper the doubts, thoughts and experience.

The biodiversity in me,
I like it and I do not.
But what I more and more see,
Is a swarm of different butterflies rather than an intwined knot.

Life is so **** special,
Intense and deeply exciting.
I think it is crucial,
Not to do too much hiding.

Enjoy the biodiversity in yourself,
Like a beautiful forest on a hill.
So many different species,
Crowded, changing and intertwined, but together, still.
I've been focused on the end
For a while
My child, we'll just separate the energies
Inside, disperse them to the corners of all time
Our crimes are taking place in the vicinity

My sins, equal to the evil
I let in
You sir, have resigned yourself to apathy
Beware, the symbols on the idol in the chair
Suggest that we are sleeping with the enemy

We've been focused on the end
For a while
It's time to celebrate the miracles
We survived, a wonderful experiment of the mind
Enjoying the infinite theater of the Omniverse

Tune in

Realize the shape that we're all in
Mutate to neutralize the symphony
Our waves, those of the true and the brave
Modulate themselves into reality
He waits in the park for a date.
A bus full of los Angeles Models and photographers
talk through walkie talkies.
He walks around spying through his peripheral.
pretending he's James Bond trying to scope them out.
He wonders if he seems suspicious, or if he's going undetected.

A Beautiful girl passes briskly by, looking curiously around.
She long dark bangs, fall colored scarf, flirty skirt.
She sits on a nearby bench.
He no longer thinking of his date.

"oh my god."
"wait, no."
"what if she showed up right when you started flirting?"
"be respectful."

A vibration in his palm.
"I'm Here"
he looks around
the only woman to fit the profile is perched on the bench.
"no way."
He walks over to the girl.
"you walked right past me, beautiful."
on his face is a smolder
the gas mask used to hide all sorts of jumbled feelings in the past.
Today. it's hiding a tiny jumping boy. feeling like he just won the gorgeous girl lottery.
This is his Date.

They go to Dobra Tea,
She takes a sip.
"It tastes like peaches" she says.
"Peaches come, in a can." The boy starts.
"they were put their by a man" she adds.
they screamingly harmonize a bit too loudly for a tea shop
"In a factory downtown"
they shush each other.
giggles erupt out of them as they collapse into the tiny pillows.
they get quiet.

the girl explains she puts her "bad pictures" on tinder
so people are surprised to realize she's beautiful in person.
stricken by her brilliance.
He applauds the flawless strategy.
as it clearly worked on him.

They go on a few more dates.

First She takes him to a graveyard.
They talk about their Jiminy Cricket's
Shared demons, so familiar some
creep from behind gravestones.
push leaves from their path as they stroll along.

Then He bring her to lighthouse.
A thick cold fog.
they switch between belting 90's pop hits
and laying peacefully up at the sky holding hands.
Music.
sound of bleeding hearts rubbing against each other.
bow and violin.
how soon they flint and steel.
spark too hot, too real, too soon.

later, in bed.
His heart leaks something.
He wonders if he looks suspicious, or if he's going undetected.
when she pushes "did you just say you love me?
Tired, and teary eyed, He says:
"Peaches."
It was their safe word.

As she starts in, Clearly not satisfied,
"C'mon, I know I hear-" she interrupts herself.
"oh... you said peaches."

See, he could have said yes,
It would have been more honest.
but this was only their third morning waking up together.
even though his heart wanted to say it again.
his Jiminy Cricket doesn't care if he loves her.
it knows he can't take care of her.
Jiminy knows that when he goes home tomorrow, she's a poem.

So He says peaches.
They say there was once a bird,
The silent type always unheard,
Hovering up in the sky,
For all of eternity would it ever fly.

The touch of a human upon it was always forbidden,
Making a biological secret be forever hidden,
Due to the transparency and the height of which cannot be reached,
It makes another lesson of evolution not breached.

What is know, however very little,
Is the bird makes one feel rather belittled.
It contains an immortality so great,
That it is forever the same and never grows from it's traits.

However, even though the phoenix of true legend is made of fire,
This version is something that will always stay higher.
It moves ever slow, like a turtle moving its bare arms,
Yet it seems as if it forever sounds its alarms.

Our alarms we sound at the dark times, though,
As this phoenix creature begins to cast it's own shadow.
All citizens race to their homes,
Awaiting a closer strike from the phoenix within the clouds that roams.

The phoenix moves, but notices no one near,
Feeling the shivering of the cold and the town's fear.
Emotion shows as small drops fall to the ground,
For the phoenix finally screams it's thunderous sound.

The great ground pound hits with the force of the phoenix's body,
As if saying, "I wanted to be nice, but you hate me now, so nobody stop me!"
One human man walks out to know what's going on,
And realizes that the phoenix is blocking the sun.

The phoenix above continues to cry
The tears that do not heal, the ones that fall into the man's eye.
He quickly wipes them off,
And then looks all the way up.

A question to the creature, "Why do you cry?"
The phoenix responds with another tear out of it's eye.
The man explains, "Now, listen please.
I only want to be the one to appease."

The phoenix slowly stops crying its last tear,
Almost agreeing to listen the man's prayer.
The man continues, "Unlike your brother who can heal,
Your tears can do the same as the unreal."

He explains, "Your sadness affects us all,
As are our ears deafened by your great call.
Now, all I hope for you is to select a different place and find it,
So everyone, including you, will have some needed peace and quiet."

The phoenix slightly nodded, with one last drop.
It suddenly broke apart, with one final pop.
The creature broke away to seek it's next destination,
As it needed to go away and not cause more devastation.

The phoenix is seen no more,
Though I'm people have still seen it before.
Look out in the sky with the best possible sight,
And you may see the phoenix still hovering in it's slow flight.
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Prose is unpretentious, that's its attraction. Avoids bombast of line breaks but forgoes -- what -- perfect rest. Anyway today, a November day in February, no chance getting rest with the poor clay I'm made from.

With my mother this weekend, her dementia proceeding according to what plan. Saturday the kind of day I never have. Actually read three stories by Updike. One extraordinary -- Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth -- which I chose from his Complete through 1975 for the reference to Macbeth and in it he so humanely, sympathetically explains through the high school English teacher's thoughts Shakespeare's mid-life bitterness or disappointment realizing few men achieve their potential in the face of history, society and their personal flaws. Making for tragedy. Hard to be humorous about that although Updike finds in Shakespeare's late plays, especially The Tempest, a resolution amounting to wisdom that there can be contentment with imperfection and partial achievement. Updike took some of the starch out of my contention that all Shakespeare's plays are comedies, impossible to take Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth and Othello seriously. Certainly not Romeo and Juliet. It is a consolation that Updike's and even Shakespeare's achievements are imperfect although it would be wringing blood from a rock for me to achieve as much. The other two stories by Updike assured me that prose story-telling is as hit or miss as poetry. Bulgarian Poetess and How to Love America and Leave It At the Same Time made me think how fortunate I had been to find Tomorrow on the first try.

Not so much luck. I was attracted like a bee to a blossom to Shakespeare's lines in my personal anthology. No anthology and the poetry dependency it has created and I might have passed over the story. But now there is this conversation between me and all other writers. The anthology helps me know what I like but now I am tempted to try to articulate why I like what I like. Like the calendar, time and all else man lays his mind to it is a matter of bringing order from chaos by naming things according to our observations.

First, I like to understand what's going on in the poem. Not paraphrase it but describe the action. In Yeats' Lapis Lazuli, in the first paragraph, strophe or stanza, he talks about a community, a city or country, in which people, the women especially, high-toned maybe?, are upset about a political or wartime situation and are too hysterical for art or grace. Then he talks about actors playing Hamlet and Lear holding it together even though their characters die at the end of the play. No shouting, no crying. Then a paragraph or stanza about how whole civilizations are transitory too. Finally, in a reference to one of our oldest civilizations, two old Chinamen and their retainer are in the mountains. From their perspective, calm acceptance and longevity, perhaps some sadness, they look on all of history and non-history with something like gladness.

From there we can appreciate the artistry -- in Yeats' case the interesting rhymes and variable line lengths -- recognizing, however, that the artistry is not so much a demonstration of skill or a performance as the particular vehicle or discipline by which this artist discovered the content of his mind. It little matters whether verse is free, rhymed, blank, or formed as long as it is understandable and meaningful. Understandable to anyone, meaningful to someone.

The oldest formulation I have is Pound's -- the great themes of literature can be written on the back of a postage stamp. Until recently, I thought you could do it but you'd have to write very small. Now I know you can do it in your normal handwriting. I think they are Love (how we come into the world), Death (how we leave the world) and Governance (how we live in the world together). It may be possible to group Love and Death together, coming into and going out of life being similarly unknowable mysteries. The ways of talking about this one same mystery are apparently endless and endlessly fascinating. We cannot leave it alone. Almost all the greatest poems are about this mystery. Life is but a dream.

Then there is Governance -- how we live in the world together -- about which there are far fewer great poems. And usually they are about how our failure to live together leads back into the unknowable mystery through premature and sometimes mass death. Siamanto's The Dance comes to mind. I think the best poems of this type are written by so-called oppressed people.

Many poems treat both themes. But on the question of content, Pound is where I begin. My anthology -- Whole Wide World -- has a section which I'll call Double & Triple Features: Poems to Read Together, which pairs and groups poems according to my feeling that they share something -- theme, voice, structure -- in common. Subject matter is, I think, the commonest sharing. If I tried to name each pairing or grouping I might then have a hundred or more themes. Naming them adequately would be difficult to impossible. But why? And why not try? It would be a necessary start to talking about the poems: I read these poems together because....

Prose doesn't have to be beautiful, sometimes it's best when it's flat as Hemingway conclusively proved and one of its attractions is you can run on and on as long as the mind goes on following a thought without a stop sign for a whole page of books like Proust or Faulkner or Joyce.

Auden's is the second useful formulation that comes to mind (besides his chummy reverence for Shakespeare in naming him Top Bard). He classifies poems five ways:

            1. A good poem that's meaningful to him;
            2. A good poem that's not meaningful to him;
            3. A good poem that may someday become meaningful to him;
            4. A bad poem that's meaningful to him;
            5. A bad poem that's not meaningful to him.

I find I do about the same. But I discard all poems, good and bad, that are not meaningful to me. I have little taste for artistry for art's sake. The poem must speak to me or awaken me. Dickinson's formulation -- takes the top of your head off -- is the same as We can't define ******* but we know it when we see it.

A short aside: it feels inappropriate to answer the question What do you do? by saying I'm a poet. It would be like saying I'm a leader or I'm a prophet. You cannot anoint yourself a poet, a leader or a prophet -- others must do it for you. I wonder if I would be more comfortable if I had a larger audience (following) like Billy Collins for example. I think not. It would be like being a rock star, not a composer.

It's much more acceptable to say I'm a writer. Then when you answer the question Oh, what do you write? with Poetry, you are not self-aggrandizing, merely irrelevant, effete. Being a poet is viewed as being a flasher or nudist, exposing parts of yourself others would rather not see, at least not up close and personal, providing more information than others need or want to have. Maybe that's a good definition of a bad poet. Self-revelation dressed in verbal prowess is acceptable but naked, abject confession is unpardonable, tedious.

Although content is requisite for a poem to be meaningful, a poem is not really a communication like fiction or essay. It is more like an object, like a painting or sculpture, and perhaps like a musical score, sheet music. Yet I would still instruct students of poetry to first read each poem by the sentence, not the line, to derive its meaning, understand its argument, visualize its action. Then one might ask how and why is it sculpted, structured, with line breaks and strophes. Ultimately, the form of the poem is nothing more or less than the method by which the poet discovered his meaning. Although it is arbitrary -- it could have been said another way -- it is the only way it could be said by this person in this time and place. I have always liked the idea of a sculptor carving away stone or wood to reveal the form inside the block.

The poem lives on as an object, recognized by many or few or none. Like art or furniture, most are briefly useful then are moved to the attic or shed where they gather dust and mouse turds then break, dry and decay and find their way to the dump, the dust heap of history, only not even human history, just your personal history.

The anthology has made me an antiquarian -- one who cares as much for objects made by others as if I had made them myself.

So how can one talk about poems? The argument that any attempt to discuss or describe a poem is better served by simply reading the poem, perhaps memorizing it, has merit. Except in one respect -- the process can take you to undiscovered and half-discovered country within yourself. Always, first, you must understand the action otherwise we are just re-reading ourselves in our own tried and untrue ways. We must not mistake an old dog dying for a puppy being born. Misunderstanding the words is like constructing a science experiment with a flawed methodology and then using the results to shape or live in the world. It can be dangerous. Therefore reading poetry is a mental discipline worthy as the scientific method itself. It takes you out of yourself.

The fun of criticism comes in examining why and how the poem made you feel or think as you did. You can read closely for the chosen words, rhythms, lines and stanzas. You may admire the skill or wit of the poet. And you can refer to your own experience to understand your reaction. You can even disagree with the poet's thought or perception, or reject the sentiment. You can say that's him, not me.

Then there are Bloom's formulations of which I am wary, he being a critic not a poet. Yet here they are. Three sources of healthy complexity or difficulty in poems: 1) Sustained allusiveness -- cultural references that require the reader to be educated beyond the poem's content, for which he cites Milton as an example and could have Dante; 2) Cognitive originality -- leaps of perception and depths of understanding that startle, enlighten and take off the top of your head, for which he cites Shakespeare and Dickinson as examples and to which I would add much of what is memorable in modern poetry; and 3) Personal mythmaking -- whereby the poet constructs over time a system of images and personal (more than cultural) references that with familiarity become understandable and meaningful, citing Yeats and Blake as examples. How to make this formulation useful.

A second formulation by Bloom discusses poetic figures or the indirect means by which poetry uncovers truth, dancing with and romancing language rather than wrestling and pinning it down like philosophy tries. There are four: 1) Irony or saying one thing and meaning another, usually the opposite; 2) Symbol (synecdoche) or making one thing stand for another; 3) Contiguity (metonymy) or using an aspect or quality of something to represent the whole; and 4) Metaphor or transferring the qualities or associations of one thing to another.

Meanwhile, here's my **** poetica:

1) Poetry is an acquired taste, like golf or wine, with no obligation to appreciate it.

2) Poetry is divination; prose explains what we think we know but poetry discovers what we didn't know we thought.

3) Poetry is one of many man-made systems, like baseball or the scientific method, for producing knowledge, meaning and pleasure. Or are they all natural as ***?

4) Of all the other arts, poetry is most like sculpture; the word "poem" comes from the Indo- European root meaning "to make, to build."

5) It is impossible to write exactly what you mean or be accurately understood; poetry uses this to its advantage.

6) Line length -- enjambment -- is the single most important feature of poetry.

7) Poems are made from ideas; poetry is philosophy but where philosophy wrestles language down, poetry romances language.

8) Meaning is the most important product of poetry but it's completely personal; poems almost always say one thing and mean another but the poet often doesn't know what he meant.

9) It is almost impossible not to rhyme or write rhythmically in English or any other language.

10) The forms poets use are how the poet gets to his truth and are basically arbitrary choices.

11) Poems may be difficult and complex and irrational but they must be comprehensible.

12) Just describing the action of the poem will take you where you need to go.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically that’s called hamming the bone sitting on a street curb singing making up lyrics i got a transitor sister loves cossack named jake he rides Cherokee chopper all he’s ever known is hate he’s going down underground where a man can be a man wrestle alligators live off the land ebb flow i don’t know racing chasing hair-pin turning at 150 miles per hour downshift to 3rd spread the word sweet sour naked flower touching skin deep within defies all sin with a grin speed speed speed all i need i’m getting off coming on you tawny scrawny bow-legged pigeon-toed knock-kneed Don Juan Ponce de Leon Aly Khan all wrapped up into one going to have ******* good time good time tonight i feel like an orphan mom and dad seem so far away tonight i feel like an orphan you make me feel this way hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically hand bone hand bone

Odyseuss drifts job to job construction worker office assistant waiter whatever he does not understand how road to recognition works continues showing portfolio to art dealers but they react indifferently he does not know how to attain notice in art world begins to suspect there is no god watching over souls instead he imagines infinite force juggling light darkness creation destruction love hate Mom and Dad insist he can earn respectable income if only he will learn commodity futures like cousin Chris Mom says you can work down at the exchange and paint on the side a part of Odysseus wants desperately to please his parents he considers perhaps Mom is right for the time being maybe build up nest egg it seems like sensible plan he wonders why Dad and Mom never speak about money how to save manage they treat the subject as forbidden topic Odysseus has no idea what Dad or Mom earn or investment strategies Odysseus is about to make serious mistake the decision to get job working at commodity exchange needs deeper examination why is he giving in to his parents what attracts him to commodities trading is it Chris’s achievement and the money? does Odysseus honestly see himself as a winning trader or does it simply look like big party with lots of rich men pretty young girls is that where he wants to be why is he giving up on his dream to be a great artist does it seem too impossible to reach who makes him think that? is he going to give up on his true self? he halfheartedly follows his parent’s advice begins working as runner at Chicago Mercantile Exchange several friends including Calexpress disloyalty for entering straight world commodity markets are not exactly straight in 1978 clearing firms pay adequately hours are 8 AM to 2 PM over course of next 6 months Odysseus runs orders out to various trading pits cousin Chris rarely acknowledges Odysseus maybe Chris feels need to protect his image of success perhaps in front of his business associates Chris is embarrassed by Odysseus’s menial rank and goof-off attitude maybe Chris senses what a terrible mistake Odysseus has made

Chicago suffers harsh winter in February Roman Polanski skips bail in California flees to France in April President Carter postpones production of neutron bomb which kills people with radiation leaving buildings intact in October Yankees win World Series defeating Dodgers in November Jim Jones leads mass-****** suicide killing 918 people in Jonestown Guyana in December in San Francisco Dianne Feinstein succeeds murdered Mayor George Moscone in Chicago John Wayne Gacy is arrested

darkness descends upon Odysseus his heart is not into commodity business more accurately he hates it he loathes battleship gray color of greed envy he resents prevailing overcast of misogyny he meets many pretty girls yet most of them are only interested in catching a trader it is rumored numerous high rolling traders hire young girls for sole purpose of morning ******* remainder of day girls are free to mingle run trivial errands commodity traders typically trash females it is primitive hierarchy Odysseus bounces from one clearing firm to another then moves to Chicago Options Exchange then Chicago Board of Trade on foyer wall just outside trading floor hangs bronze plaque commemorating all men who served in World War 2 Uncle Karl’s name is on that plaque Daddy Pat bought his son seat hoping to set him up after war Uncle Karl’s new wife wanted to break away from Chicago persuaded him to sell seat move to California Uncle Karl bought car wash outside Los Angeles with Daddy Pat’s support Mom and Dad encourage assure Odysseus commodities business is right choice they promise to buy him full seat on exchange if he continues to learn markets they feel certain he can be saved from his artistic notions the markets are soaring in profits cousin Chris is riding waves a number of Chris’s friends are sons of parents who belong to same clubs dine at same restaurants as Mom and Dad Odysseus is not alpha-male like Chris Odysseus is a dreamer painter poet writer explorer experimenter unlike Chris who has connections Odysseus starts out as runner then gets job holding deck for yuppie brokers in Treasury Dollar trading pit Odysseus holds buy orders between index and middle fingers sell orders in last 2 fingers arranged by time stamp price size in other hand holds nervous pencil he stands step below boss in circular pit in room size of football field full of raised pits everything is traded cattle hogs pork bellies all currencies gold numbers flash change instantaneously in columns on three high walls fourth wall is glass with seats behind for spectators thousands of people rush around delivering orders on telephones flashing hand signals shouting offers quantities every moment every day calls come in frantically from all around world space is organized chaos sometimes not so organized fortunes switch hands in nano-seconds it is global fiscal battleground rallies to up side or breaks to down side send room into hollering pushing shoving hysteria central banks financial institutions kingpin mobsters with political clout daring entrepreneurs old thieves suburban rich kids beautiful people pretty young females abound big guns **** in same air stand next to low-ranking runners everyone flirts sweats sneezes knows inside they are each expendable Odysseus is spellbound by sheer force magnitude he feels immaterial only grip is his success with girls it is not conscious talent he grins girls grin back Chris’s trader friends recognize Odysseus’s ability they push him to introduce girls to them it is way for Odysseus to level playing field he has no money or high opinion of himself he simply knows how to hook up with girls

1979 January Steelers defeat Cowboys at Super Bowl Brenda Ann Spencer kills 2 faculty wounds 8 students responds to incident “i don't like Mondays” in February Khomeini seizes power in Iran in March Voyager space-probe photographs Jupiter’s rings a nuclear power plant accident occurs at Three Mile Island Pennsylvania in May Margaret Thatcher is elected Prime Minister in England in Chicago American Airlines flight 191 crashes killing 273 people in November Iran hostage crisis begins 90 hostages 53 of whom are American in December Soviet Union invades Afghanistan 1980 in November Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter one year since Iran hostage crisis began

he meets good-looking younger girl named Monica on subway heading home from work he has seen her running orders on trading floor she is tall slender with long dark brown hair in ponytail pointed nose wide mouth innocent face she confides her estranged father is famous Chicago mobster Odysseus recognizes his name they talk about how much they dislike markets arrant disparity of wealth between traders and themselves Odysseus says i hate feeling of being so disposable worthless Monica replies yeah me too he tells her if i was a girl i’d ******* myself to several handsome generous traders Monica acknowledges that’s an interesting idea but who? how? which traders? do you know? he answers yeah i know exactly who and how Monica says if you’re serious i’m in i have a girlfriend named Larissa who might also be interested i’ll call Larissa tonight following day Monica approaches Odysseus at work agrees to meet at his place after markets close that afternoon Monica and Larissa show up eager to learn more about Odysseus’s scheme Larissa is petite built like a gymnast giggly light brown hair younger than Monica he lays it all out for them cousin Chris and his buddies the money ******* both girls are quite lovely he suggests they rehearse with him he will coach them on situations settings techniques girls consent for 4 weeks every afternoon they meet at Odysseus’s place get naked play out different scenarios he shows girls how to pose demure at first then display themselves skillfully fingers delicately pulling open ***** spreading wide apart buns working hidden muscles he directs each to take up numerous positions tasks techniques then has them switch places he teaches them timing starting slow gradually building up rhythms stirring into passionate frenzy having two mouths four hands creates novel sets of possibilities one girl attends his front while other excites his rear he positions them side-by-side so he can penetrate any of all four holes he stacks them one on top of the other many other variations after reaching ****** several times making sure to reciprocally satisfy their eager needs Odysseus dismisses girls until following day finally after month of practice Monica and Larissa feel confident proficient primed Odysseus arranges for girls to meet with 2 traders through Chris most traders have nicknames Twist who is hosting event is notoriously wild insatiable on opening night Odysseus behaves like concerned father Larissa and Monica each bring several dresses and pairs of shoes Odysseus helps them choose suggests Monica ease up on make-up he styles Larissa’s hair instructs Monica to call him when they arrive again when they leave he requests they return directly to his place Monica wears hair pulled back in French twist pearl earrings sleek little black dress black stiletto heels she stands several inches above Odysseus Larissa wears braided pigtails pink low-scooped leotard brown plaid wool kilt just above knees brown suede cowboy boots he kisses each on lips then pats their butts warns them to be careful mindful Monica winks Larissa giggles more than an hour passes as Odysseus sits wondering why he has not heard from girls suddenly reality hits he does not want to be commodities trader and certainly not a **** this is not how he wants to be known or remembered Odysseus wants to be a painter and writer Monica and Larissa are good sweet girls whom he has misguided he calls Twist’s place Twist answers Odysseus asks to speak with Monica when she comes to phone he questions are you all right Monica answers yes we’re fine we’re having a fantastic time why are you calling what’s wrong he explains you were suppose to call me when you arrived i began to worry i think maybe this whole arrangement is a bad idea i want you to call it off and come back home i don’t want either of you to become prostitutes i love you both and don’t want to be associated with dishonoring you Monica says it’s a little late to call it off but we’ll see you when we’re done kissy kiss bye Odys another hour passes then another he frets wondering what they are doing after 4 hours as he is about to call Twist’s house again doorbell rings Monica and Larissa both giggling beaming Odysseus can spot they have a coke buzz Monica announces you should be proud of us Odys we got each of them off 2 times we left them stone-numb and tapped out the girls open their purses each slaps 5 hundred dollar bills unto table Monica says this is your cut Odys we both got a thousand for ourselves he replies i can’t touch that money we need to sit down and talk Monica demands no talking Odys take off your clothes he insists i’m serious Monica i’m never going to send you out again Larissa claims there’s no turning back for me i had too much fun Monica  pleads come on Odys we’ll be good we promise now take off your clothes Twist and his buddy never attended to our needs i’m ***** as hell Larissa where’s that little bottle of dust Twisty handed you

Chicago Monday night December 8 1980 Cal and Odysseus sit at North End they're on 4th round feeling buzz the place is lively adorned with holiday decorations Cal says you’ve changed Odysseus questions what do you mean? how? Cal says the commodity markets and your cousin and his friends they’ve changed you when was the last time you painted Odys? are you dealing coke Odysseus looks Cal in the eyes answers they’re so ******* rich Cal you can’t believe it one drives a black Corvette Stingray another a ******* Delorean anything they want they buy girls cars clothes condos boats yeah i’m dealing coke to Chris’s friends it’s my only leverage remember the Columbian dude Armando we met at tittie bar? i score from him and keep it clean Chris’s buddies pay up for the quality i don’t remember my last painting maybe the black painting i never finished after breaking up with Reiko Lee a girl falls off bar stool crashing to floor at other end of bar Cal says Odys, you better play it careful you’re messing with the devil got any blow on you suddenly bar grows quiet someone turns up TV volume they watch overhead as news anchorman speaks slow solemn camera pans splattered puddle of blood pieces of broken glass on steps to Dakota Building Cal looks to Odysseus John Lennon has been murdered Cal waits for Odysseus to say something tear rolls down cheek Cal glances away stares down at floor they drink in silence
Matt Feb 2015
The Kurds live
In parts of Syria, Iraq, and Iran
As well as Kurdistan

Kurdish groups such as the KCK and PJAK
Seek democratic autonomy for Kurds
And democracies in Turkey, Iran and Syria

Aposim is a grassroots socialist movement
That promotes gender equality
Apo is the political founder of the PKK and PJAK

The female fighters of PJAK
Don't have families
Because this will weaken their commitment
To the organization

Thomas Morton
Host of this Vice documentary
Stays in a farmhouse

He headed up to meet the fighters
The PJAK division he met with
Fights for women's rights
Around the Iranian border

They tell Thomas
Women are being killed in Iran
It is a mental persecution of women
The PJAK representative says

It is about the right to democracy
Freedom, Equality, and education
The woman explains that
The Iranians use Sharia and Islam
For their own purposes

It is not true Islam according
To the PJAK representative
In true Islam there is equality and equity

Thomas
That really was priceless
Watching you line dance with them
Really funny
I think the women of PJAK
Got a kick out of it too

God bless the women of PJAK
Such beautiful smiles
Full of life
Standing up for women's rights
www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLxniHLkMM0
"There where that ray touches the plain
And the shadows escape as if they really ran,
Warsaw stands, open from all sides,
A city not very old but quite famous.

"Farther, where strings of rain hang from a little cloud,
Under the hills with an acacia grove
Is Prague. Above it, a marvelous castle
Shored against a ***** in accordance with old rules.

"What divides this land with white foam
Is the Alps. The black means fir forests.
Beyond them, bathing in the yellow sun
Italy lies, like a deep-blue dish.

"Among the many fine cities that are there
You will recogni2e Rome, Christendom's capital,
By those round roofs on the church
Called the Basilica of Saint Peter.

"And there, to the north, beyond a bay,
Where a level bluish mist moves in waves,
Paris tries to keep pace with its tower
And reins in its herd of bridges.

"Also other cities accompany Paris,
They are adorned with glass, arrayed in iron,
But for today that would be too much,
I'll tell the rest another time
Nicklaus Bailey Oct 2019
1-Establish Lux as a farmer with his brother, father, mother. Show dissatisfaction at a lot in life, yearning for more, however Lux feels compelled to stay with family and help them. Establish a close relationship between the brothers, a good mother/son relationship, though a testy relationship with his father. Strange symbol branded on Lux’s chest, been there since he was a baby, no one is sure what it means- or no one is telling him. This is Lux’s L.S. beginning. Establish also is the world Lux is in, the facts of the ministry and the church, the knights and wars of before.
2-Introduce a festival in town with knights from “The Brotherhood” being present, establish them as knights capable of magic and swordplay, “The Brotherhood” knights are taking new recruits at the festival. Wanting to join, Lux goes through the trials and passes, though after a harsh reaction from his father, Lux does not leave with the knights. With Lux out of scene, a conversation between the mother and father should reveal the man is not in actuality Lux’s father, but his uncle, and his brother had been married to Lux’s mother (now his wife) though died fighting in a war between “The Brotherhood” as a member of their ranks, against a rival faction known as “The Order”  peak lux’s curiosity and focus on the desire to leave as established in the previous chapter. This and the next chapter are Lux’s “Go The Distance”
3-The end of the week long festival nears, and Lux is on a hunting trip with his younger brother, returns and is questioned by his father why he wants to leave so much. The truth of Lux’s true father is revealed, and though Lux’s uncle expected this to convince Lux to stay and not go into danger, Lux is angered rather, and leaves in a hurry to catch “The Brotherhood” knights before they leave. Lux is put under the tutelage of a man who claims to have known Lux’s father, though it is revealed Lux’s little brother followed him, and is taken into the recruit pool as well, despite never going through the testing. Note- perhaps have Lux refuse to go with the knights if his brother is not also offered a spot? Hero’s journey, he needs a moment of hesitation and refusal to go. This should be reflected like Lukes refusal to join ben, or Bilbos refusal of gandalf, but quickly change their minds.
4-Training begins the moment they arrive at a camp. Lux and his brother are immediately outfitted with leather armor, dark and gritty in contrast of the shining metal of the rest of the knights. Lux is doing well in training, sword play coming natural, shakey with a bow, and ofcourse a natural talent at magic, (though make a point that in fire spells Lux only manages to start small flames that he can throw, and struggles with healing magic) though his brother is struggling in all aspects and is beat by his trainer. Lux’s trainer urges Lux to ignore it,though Lux finally snaps and challenges the man. The two enter a circle made in the dirt with training swords, and though Lux appears to have the advantage at first, he is quickly beaten and left gasping and ****** on the floor. The trainer leaves Lux there, and soon a hand reaches down to Lux. A female trainee named Ciara picks up Lux and, joined by his brother, the three wander off for more training for the instructors. Introduce Peter, a man deeply infatuated by Ciara, rather than a knight Peter is a Father to the holy church, unable to fall in love and forbidden to marry. Subtle on Peter’s infatuation with Ciara, should really build Peter as a good friend to Ciara,
5. Lux, his trainer, CIara, and her trainer are all out in the forest doing patrol after reports that remnants of “The Order” have picked up their pace in activity in the surrounding areas, raiding small towns and taking young men and women as recruits. Lux and Ciara are separated for a time and grow closer through talk and laughter when they see two knights in armor that is shining silver on almost the entire body though the right arm and pec are a scarlet red, drinking water from a stream. Confirming with each other that is the description of “The Order” Ciara says they should find their trainers though Lux charges. Ciara is close behind, catching the two off guard. Both are quickly overpowered through the use of advanced magic from “The Order” but Ciara’s trainer jumps in, kills one, but is killed by the second. As he turns, Lux throws his dagger and hits the man in the eye, killing him. Lux and Ciara carry her trainers body back to camp. Ciara refuses to speak and when greeted at the gate by Peter, she embraces him and cries into his shoulder. Have both Lux and Ciara attempt healing magic to no avail. Have Lux grow frustrated at feeling the ABILITY to heal, but unable to do so.
6. Lux is punished for charging, while his trainer is taken to a secret meeting where they discuss what to do with Lux, but out of respect for his father, they keep him in “The Brotherhood”. Lux has not seen Ciara since the incident, though he can see her in the crowd when he is being taken to be whipped, and receives 10 lashes, to Peter’s dismay who recommends either banishment or death. After the punishment, he is cut loose from the posts holding him up and Lux’s brother charges the ground, picking his brother up and taking him to his bed. As they pass Lux manages an apology, but is unsure if she accepts it. Lux is informed she will be trained alongside him. Make Peter do some ******* **** idk. Resenting “The Brotherhood” Lux should vent to his brother about his growing distrust of the situation, asking if his brother has felt the growing gap between what they feel they can do, and what they can do.
7. Show training between Lux, Ciara, and brother, distinguish a growing connection between Lux and Ciara, much to Ciara’s surprise and reluctance. Show Lux go into his trainers room while he is absent, and sees a sword on the wall, bearing a strange symbol. Lux trainer will explain that the sword should belong to Lux as it was his fathers, and when it is time he will inherit the blade but for now he must leave the blade alone. Lux asks about the situation behind his father's death. Explain the following: The Brotherhood were not always the knights guarding the royal family, before his birth the royal family was guarded by The Order, who are the reason The Brotherhood practice both swordplay and magic, as the Order are master swordsman and powerful wizards, prolific in blood magic and necromancy. When one member of The Order desired the throne for himself, he split The Order in 2. The Brotherhood worship the Gods, but in his desire and lust for power, the man struck a deal with the old gods, evil barbaric entities who require blood and death as sacrifices for their eternal power. This is Nero, a man that Lux’s father took in and treated as a brother, both being trained as knights for The Order. During the civil war, Nero attacked the Royal Palace and though he was badly defeated, he did **** Lux’s father in the battle. End chapter on this story. This chapter should be shows as Lux is uncertain of The Brotherhood and his trainer, but with the story of his father, he is conflicted. If it is true, then they are just. If it is wrong, how many more lies has he been told?
8. Show Lux becoming prolific with a blade and very intimidating magically. When he, Ciara, and his brother are sent on a mission with no trainers for the first time, Lux naturally takes charge. They track knights of The Order down to a cave, where they are tested both physically and magically. Ciara and Lux both protect brother as much as they can, though brother is able to hold his own. They manage to corner one who instead of being taken prisoner, stabbed himself in the stomach after giving an ominous warning. As Lux approaches the body, he sees on the cave wall a crude drawing of a man with the same symbol on his chest as Lux’s, holding a sword with the same symbol as Lux’s fathers, a figure resembling a large black and red dragon behind the man. Dismissing it, Lux tells Ciara and brother to not bother approaching, and the last of the knights are dead. The report back to base, and Lux informs trainer of what happened, leaving out the symbol.
9. Word carries out on base that more and more caves are being found with members of The Order, all with strange paintings on the walls. Peter speaks with the knights, explaining he has been praying and granted visions of a large scale battle. Have Ciara grab Lux’s arm at the sound of war, which Peter will notice (important for later) and in a hesitation to prepare for a battle that may or may not come, the commander of the camp demands the trainees be knighted, their proper gear be made, and to meet with the main force.
Cut from Lux to Peter alone in a church, praying to the Holy Mother begging for guidance away from the desires of his heart, and in his prayers Peter slowly realizes that he will not give up his desire for Ciara and decides to betray the Brotherhood in hopes Lux may die and he may be able to gain Ciara’s affection. Peter is seen leaving by Lux, though when questioned says he is going for more Fathers to pray and meditate on the matter.
10. Peter tracks down members of The Order, informing them that he wishes to give them valuable information, surrendering to them. Peter is taken to the leader of the knights operating in the area, and in exchange for one thing, is willing to tell The Order where The Brotherhood is, where they are going, their numbers, and anything else that will be of use. All he wants is them to make Ciara fall in love with him./ While Peter is doing this, Lux is kneeling in front of his trainer who knights him with fathers sword. (maybe do a crusader knight knighting, this is oath/this is how you remember it) When Lux is handed his father's sword, the cold metal instantly feels warm and the grip adjusts to his fingers and though it looks heavy, appears just the right weight to Lux. Lux is given armor, though when he takes his shirt off he sees the symbol on his chest glowing, same as the symbol on the sword. Trainer only says “magic is a strange thing, boy” and Lux is put into armor and finally leaves the shed a knight after only 2 months of training./back to Peter who is given a potion, told to have Ciara drink it and leave with her before they make their move. As Peter leaves, the leader barks orders to men who address him as Nero. Perhaps instead of Peter getting the potion straight from Nero, have him get it on a witch in the woods who is secretly affiliated with Nero, have to work out how she gets the information from Peter, but she could use magic to contact Nero after. Perhaps part of the agreement is Peter must turn his back on his abandoned faith and be her student and as a test of loyalty he must tell her everything he knows.
11. As The Order masses its numbers, knights of the Brotherhood are entering the giant city dedicated to The Brotherhood(Remulus? Romulus?) and Lux is in awe as he sees the a giant palace, and near it a graveyard with tombs. The tombs are the resting place of knights of The Order who gave their lives in service to the royal family, and now knights of The Brotherhood join their numbers. A newly marked grave is standing as a monument to Ciara’s trainer. The day is given to them to explore the city, and Lux/Ciara are alone together. Share a kiss. Witnessing the kiss, Peter comes from the shadows and informs them that curfew is near, and they should be heading back to the castle/as Peter watches the two make way to the castle laughing/holding hands, he heads to a monastery. He kneels before a picture of his god, praying asking to be told what to do. He knows he is a man of faith, so why are lust and desire even capable of entering his heart? He begs for pardon from sin as he sets his heart on giving Ciara the potion.
12. Now that the trainees have been knighted and the generals have been informed of Peter’s vision, prepare for war. The inhabitants of the city and many villages around are all pulled into the Castle’s walls, able bodied men and boys are given swords, women and girls find refuge in the newly emptied dungeons (all criminals hung/drafted?) Lux is witness to a battle plan, and overhears that during the last battle at the capitol city, The Order had used dragons to its aid, and though there were no confirmed sightings of dragons now, The Brotherhood should still set up catapults and bastilles on the off chance. Lux finds his brother and Ciara and informs them of what he has heard, though Peter comes and informs them that Lux must just be tired from nerves, and no one has seen a dragon in a generation. End with Ciara stopping a near brawl between the two, and Lux heading to his bed alone, and Peter now with Ciara, when a sound fills the halls. Scouts are reporting a massive army on the outskirts of the city.
13. Rain. Silence. Lux, Ciara, and his brother are among the numbers at the front gate. Rain hitting the ground. Hitting armor. Men are vomiting. Peter along with other priests are swinging burning incense between the rows of men, chanting prayers and songs of their god. Pounding. Pounding so hard that when it hits the front gate, the rain flies off the door and hits Lux’s face. Lux looks to his brother. The two nod. Lux looks into Ciara’s eyes. The two kiss. Confess love. The gate is broken open and the war begins with a thunderous roar in the sky, a dragon spewing fire on archers perched on castle walls as troops charge. Lux and the other knights hold their positions with a great clash the two armies finally meet. In screaming and fighting, Lux loses his brother, and The Brotherhood are pushed back, further and further. Lux manages to grab Ciara’s arm and the two run to a set of stairs going down to one of the dungeon entrances to warn the others that they are losing, when the dragon knocks over a giant pillar, stones hitting the two. Lux stays conscious from the first hit, and sees Peter approaching an unconscious Ciara with the potion in hand. Stuck beneath rubble, Lux watches as Peter pours it in her mouth and wakes her with a kiss. Begging Ciara for help frantically, she walks away with Peter, and as Lux cries out for his brother, more stones hit, causing him to go unconscious.
14. Lux awakens in an unfamiliar setting, on his knees. His hands shackled to the wall, his armor and sword feet in front of him, a man standing behind them. The man asks if Lux knows who he is. Looking up, Lux can see from the torches a tired face. Shaking his head, the man informs Lux, “I am Nero, commander of The Order, Captain of the Conquered Reaches, and rightful heir to the throne. And you are Lux. My nephew,” Nero smiles, touching Lux’s face. Accusing Nero of killing his father, Nero softens his eyes at Lux and stops moving. A look of sadness. “Your father's mistake is the single most regrettable accident in my life,” tells Lux more and more about his father. Informs Lux why the symbol is on his chest. Its magically bonded to the blade. It makes blood magic more powerful. Nero then informs Lux that his father had found a dragon egg just like Nero did, as Nero pulls the egg from his robes, shiney and black with streaks of scarlet. Nero offers Lux out of this cell, and he will gladly show him the ways of blood magic and make sure that Peter pays for his betrayal of the other knights. “I do not find The Brotherhoods newest members traitors, how can they betray a cause they never were offered? But how do you think we knew you were going to be there when we did? All of this has been for you, Lux.” with a wave of his hand, the shackles fall off Lux’s wrists and he falls forward. Reaching to the egg, Lux hesitates slightly, looking down and seeing his reflection in the water. With a wave of his hand, Nero projects the image of Peter kissing Ciara deeply. “That passion she gives him should be yours. I cannot create love. Only transfer it with a potion. When peter described the man who took his beloved, I should have realized. But together, I can rid the potions course and Peter will pay, Lux,” and as Lux watch Ciara enter Peter’s bed, he firmly grabs the egg, which begins to shake and crack in his hand, emerging a tiny dragon. Nero’s past: Nero will portray his story as such: He discovered that Lux’s mother is the illegitimate daughter of the queen. When Nero went to tell Lux’s father, he was stopped by the queen who attempted to have him killed, for if it was discovered that her late husband had an offspring, she would have a claim to the throne. In the ongoing fight, Nero claims he accidentally killed the queen and was discovered by Lux’s father. The fight was a misunderstanding and he was never able to tell him the truth of his soon to be (pregnant) wife. The split of The Order were those who believed Nero and those horrified at the death of the queen. Nero claims the royals betrayed him and those who followed the truth. Show a refusal to believe at first, though as his imprisonment lasts, and he goes over it again and again in his head, for weeks as Peter gets further away with Ciara, left with visions of Peter and Ciara making love, his Nero pleading with Lux’s father, and the conflict. Ambiguous if this is actually true or just indoctrination.
15. Lux’s training begins immediately. He is placed in the middle of a circle, men attacking from all directions and must fight them off with his blade and newly learned blood magic. Slicing his palm before gripping his blade, the warm metal now burns hot in Lux’s hands, and he drops the blade. Scolded with beatings and lashings, Lux learns how to embrace the pain. Magic flows through him stronger than ever as he adapts. Fire flows from his tips when before he could only manage an ember. He heals fatal wounds when before he could hardly manage a small cuts and broken bones. Lux is routinely beaten and whipped, his dragon growing and watching all the while. Weeks go by. Lux concentrates only on killing Peter and revenge. Pain, anger, and of course blood fuel blood magic to its extremes.
16. Lux’s brother is brought into a small room with other generals who managed to escape the battle of the capitol. He is questioned if he has heard from Lux, Peter, or Ciara as their bodies were never found. All the remaining forces are falling back to the capital, where a final stand will once again be made. Lux’s brother is told he may visit home one last time and must report to the capital in no more than 5 days, and his trainer will accompanying him/Lux is kneeling once again before Nero, though he feels the sword tap either shoulder as he is knighted into the brotherhood. He is given shiney armor and as he puts it on, is instructed to place his sliced palm on the opposite shoulder and watches as his blood flows into the metal, turning that arm and shoulder scarlet red. He is officially in The Order. Lux is tasked with one task to prove his loyalty. **** his stepfather and attempt to convince his mother to come swear loyalty to nero if she refuses, **** her too. If he does that, when he returns his dragon will feed on the personal sacrifice and be ready for battle, and in return Nero will make sure both Peter and Ciara are waiting for him. “It will be done, Lord Nero.” show conflict in Lux if he is truly willing to do all of this, and conflict on loyalty to Nero. The Dragons growth and power is connected to Lux’s ability in blood magic. The more anger, hate, and pain he puts into his abilities, the stronger the dragon will become.
17. Chapter starts with Lux standing outside his old house in the early hours of the morning, the sun peeking out of the mountains but being quickly covered by storm clouds. As darkness settles over the brief light illuminating the house. Lux enters the house. His stepfather enters the room hearing the door open but is grabbed by the throat.during the fighting, Lux manages to strangle his step father and throws his body to the door as his mother is running into the room. As she surveys the situation, there is a cry from the door, and Lux’s brother and trainer are standing in the door, sword in hand. Lux begins to unsheathe his sword but his mother moves between them, talking to the brothers. Lux demands to know from his trainer if what Nero said is true and that his mother is the rightful heir. Confirming Nero’s story partially, though claims that Nero attempted to blackmail the queen with the knowledge of the heir to gain more power. Lux tries to persuade his mother to join him and come be with Nero, that his father would have wanted this. When she refuses, he explains that she would not understand what he HAS to do to end this war, and when he is done the conflict will be resolved and order restored. Argument between lux and brother over oaths broken. Mother approaches Lux, touching his face tenderly speaking softly watching as her son is breaking. She offers him to leave the conflict entirely and to just live home with her, though as she turns to face Lux’s brother, Lux stabs her. Gasping she looks back to Lux, touching his face once more, “You look so much like your father in that armor” Lux , trainer and brother fight, Lux leaves his brother unconscious in the house quickly, though he kills his trainer outside, taking the bodies with him back to Nero.
18.Lux returns to the agreed upon spot to meet Nero, but is instead met by Ciara, who in his confusion and hesitation desperately tries to convince her to leave with him when out steps Peter with a staff in hand, who has now learned the magic of the old gods. When Lux raises his hand, his dragon lands behind him with a mighty roar. With a smirk, peter does the same, and a white and blue dragon lands behind him, a roar just as mighty. The dragons take to the air, circling and roaring, spitting blue and black flames at one another as Lux and Peter fight to the death. Just as Lux manages to defeat Peter after taunting and back and forth, there is a loud crash as Lux’s dragon lands on the other teeth in its neck, ripping its head off entirely. Ciara comes to her senses immediately, seeing Lux in armor of The Order standing over a wounded and ****** Peter, the blood spraying on them. Stepping toward Ciara, Lux is surprised when she steps back in fear. Allowing her to leave, Lux watches as she sprints away. The conversation between Lux and Ciara should be that of both trying to convert the other. When no understanding is made between the two, it is Lux’s love for Ciara that allows her to leave, she sprints to the horses and makes her way back to The Brotherhood. Turning back to a wounded Peter, Lux raises his sword when his eye catches sight of a faint glow on Peter’s chest. Kneeling to rip the man's shirt out of the way, Lux finds the same symbol that is on his sword and own chest. Peter is Lux’s lost twin.
Will add more, unsure how to end the first book. (Have a trilogy in mind)
A leather chair
It's comfy
And the headrest actually fits!
The woman
A nurse of some sort
Explains **** near everything
"This does blaahhh
And that does bluhhhhh
And this other thing does
Blegghhhhh"
Thanks.
Let's just get it over with
Then in comes the dentist
Well
He's an oral surgeon
He tells me his name
And hooks up an IV
And in goes the anesthesia

                    BLACKNESS

A comfy chair
I must be coming to
But in the office?
Then I hear the cat
Ohhhhhh
I'm home
Ok
Cool.
What do you mean?
All I can eat is ice cream?
And mashed potatoes?
Ughh... I wish I was back asleep.
Got my wisdom teeth pulled out today. So that's fun

— The End —